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UN Security Council To Meet On Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Palestinians carry a door from a destroyed house following what police said was an Israeli air strike in central Gaza on July 9.
Palestinians carry a door from a destroyed house following what police said was an Israeli air strike in central Gaza on July 9.
By RFE/RL

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on July 10 will brief the Security Council on the escalating Israeli-Palestinian hostilities as the death toll in the conflict continues to rise.

The meeting of the 15-member body comes after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on July 9 warned of even tougher action against Hamas.

Ban says the situation is "troubling and volatile."

The UN chief spent July 9 talking to a range of regional world leaders, including Netanyahu, Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Army said on July 10 that 322 targets were hit overnight, bringing the total number to 750 since the start of the anti-Hamas operation.

Palestinian officials said least 54 people were killed as Israeli air strikes shook Gaza every few minutes and militants kept up rocket fire at Israel's heartland.

In the latest Israeli strike, seven people were killed in the Gaza town of Khan Yunis.

Emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said those killed were three women and four children.

Targeted Strikes

It is the worst spike since 2012 in tensions between Israel and the militant Hamas Islamist movement, which controls Gaza.

Abbas has accused Israel of committing "genocide" in Gaza.

Netanyahu, meanwhile, has warned of actions even tougher than air strikes against Hamas.

Israel's military said Hamas militants have fired more than 160 missiles at Israel, reaching further north than ever before.

It said militants on July 9 also launched three rockets toward Israel's nuclear reactor near the southern town of Dimona.

It said two rockets fell in open areas, while the third was intercepted by the country's Iron Dome missile-defense system.

Israel has threatened to send ground troops into Gaza if the rocket attacks continue.

The government has authorized the potential mobilization of up to 40,000 reservists. Thousands of soldiers have already been mobilized along the Gaza border. 

Calls For Calm

The U.S. State Department on July 9 called for all sides to de-escalate tensions but also reiterated Israel's right to defend itself.

The latest tensions began three weeks ago, after three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and later found killed in the West Bank.

Israel blamed Hamas for the murders and arrested hundreds of activists of the Islamic movement.

Hamas, which controls Gaza, responded by stepping up rocket fire.

The situation deteriorated further last week when a Palestinian boy was killed in an apparent revenge attack by suspected Israeli extremists.

With reporting by Reuters, dpa, AP, and AFP

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