GAZA VIOLENCE

Israeli air strikes on Gaza continue, global diplomatic activity intensifies

Israeli aircraft resumed raids on targets in Gaza City on Tuesday morning.
Israeli aircraft resumed raids on targets in Gaza City on Tuesday morning. REUTERS - MOHAMMED SALEM

As the French and Egyptian presidents call for a ceasefire, the UN Security Council is to hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday, aimed at ending hostilities between Israel and armed Palestinian groups that have left over 200 dead.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said late Monday that Israel would "continue striking at the terrorist targets".

Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas urged Washington to act against "Israel's aggression".

Israel launched its air campaign on the Gaza Strip on 10 May, after the enclave's rulers, the Islamist group Hamas, fired rockets towards the Jewish state, an escalation sparked by unrest in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.

In total 212 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, including at least 61 children, and more than 1,400 injured -- whilst in Israel, ten people have died, including one child, with hundreds injured, according to officials on both sides.

Tuesday's emergency UN Security Council session -- the fourth since the conflict escalated -- was called after the United States, a key Israel ally, again blocked the adoption of a joint statement calling for a halt to the violence on Monday.

Macron, Sisi push for ceasefire deal

French and Egyptian presidents, Emmanuel Macron and Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, are pushing for a ceasefire deal and aim to get the backing of Jordan. Another negotiating channel has been opened, via the UN, with the help of Qatar and Egypt.

European Union foreign ministers will also hold urgent talks Tuesday on the violence, announced by EU top diplomat Josep Borrell who has been conducting "intense" diplomatic efforts to de-escalate the fighting.

US President Joe Biden, having refused to join other world leaders and much of his own Democratic party in calling for an immediate end to hostilities, told Netanyahu on Monday night that Washington backs a ceasefire, but the US leader stopped short of demanding a truce.

Israel continued its barrage of Gaza overnight, setting the dark sky ablaze over the crowded, coastal enclave as multiple strikes crashed into buildings in Gaza City shortly after midnight.

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