Is­rael de­fies global pres­sure to stop blood­shed in Gaza

The Political and Business Daily - - FRONT PAGE - HARINDER MISHRA

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

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