Gaza battle rages on, WHO appeals for humanitarian pause


GAZA/JERUSALEM, May 20

Diplomatic efforts towards a ceasefire in the Gaza war gathered pace on Thursday amid a worsening humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territory, but Israeli airstrikes again pulverised the enclave and Hamas rockets targeted towns in Israel. International agencies appealed for a halt in the violence to allow medical and other supplies into Hamas-run Gaza.


Palestinian envoy accuses Israel of ‘genocide’


Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Malki has accused Israel of committing “genocide” against Palestinian families. He urged the international community to protect the Palestinian people until their freedom is assured. He urged the assembly to ensure that Israel was held accountable for killing innocent Palestinians and not provided with arms. AP

The severity of injuries is straining an already overwhelmed health system,” WHO regional director Ahmed Al-Mandhari said in Cairo. A senior official in the Hamas militant group said a ceasefire could take hold within days. Rocket attacks on Israel stopped for eight hours early on Thursday but then resumed against communities near the Israel-Gaza border. An Israeli minister said Israel would halt its offensive only when it had achieved its goals, and Israeli warplanes unleashed more airstrikes on the densely-populated enclave on an 11th day of hostilities. Health officials in Gaza say 230 Palestinians, including 65 children and 39 women, have been killed and more than 1,700 wounded in aerial bombardments. Israeli authorities put the death toll to date at 12 in Israel, with 336 persons treated for injuries. — Reuters



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