Israel defies global pressure to stop bloodshed in Gaza
AMID frantic diplomatic efforts to put an end to bloodshed in Gaza, a defiant Israel today pressed on with its relentless bombardment of Hamas-ruled territory as the raging conflict that has killed about 750 Palestinians and 34 Israelis showed no signs of abating.
Israel focused its attacks on southeast of Gaza, with residents fleeing areas which came under heavy bombing.
Over 50 people were killed in Gaza today, taking the overall Palestinian toll to 746 since Israel launched its military offensive to halt rocket fire by Hamas on July 8.
In the latest incident, seven Palestinians were killed in a series of Israeli air strikes and tank fire in a flashpoint area near Khan Yunis in southern Gaza.
The latest casualties, included a family of six with two young children, killed in an Israeli air strike in the south of the Gaza Strip.
Israeli forces have destroyed at least 475 houses while 2,644 have been partially damaged. Some 46 schools, 56 mosques and seven hospitals had also suffered varying degrees of destruction, Palestinian officials said.
Thirty two Israeli soldiers, two civilians and a Thai worker in Israel have also been killed in the conflict.
As the death toll mounted, UN Human Rights Council yesterday ordered a probe into Israel's offensive on Gaza.
India along with Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa voted in favour of the Palestinian-drafted resolution on "Ensuring Respect for international law in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, including East Jerusalem".
Israel's close ally US was the only one of 47 member states to oppose the probe supported by 29 countries. Describing UNHCR as a "kangaroo court", Israel slammed the move as a "travesty".
"This investigation by a kangaroo court is a fore- gone conclusion," the Prime Minister's Office said.
Taking a dig at the UNHCR decision, Israel's Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman labeled the UN body as the "council for the rights of terrorists".
A general view shows the destruction in Gaza City's Shijaiyah neighborhood — AP/PTI