Zee Media Bureau/Supriya Jha
Gaza City: Expressing concern over the growing death toll from Israel-Gaza violence, the United Nations Security Council on Monday called for an immediate ceasefire and emphasized the need to improve the humanitarian situation in the violence-struck region.
— United Nations (@UN) July 21, 2014
UN chief Ban Ki-moon called Israeli shelling of a residential Gazan suburb of Shuja`iya as an atrocious crime, reports said.
— Mission of Rwanda UN (@RwandaUN) July 21, 2014
After holding closed-door consultations on Gaza, President of UNSC addressed the media, stressing upon the need to improve the humanitarian situation, including through humanitarian pauses.
"The members of the Security Council call for an immediate cessation of hostilities," said Rwandan Ambassador Eugene Richard Gasana, whose country chairs the 15-member council.
The UN "called for an immediate cessation of hostilities based on a return to the November 2012 ceasefire agreement".
Meanwhile, on Day 14 of Operation Protective Edge, the Israeli Defence Forces said that two terrorist cells had infiltrated Israel through a tunnel from Northern Gaza Strip, and that they had hit one of the squads, killing 10 militants.
BREAKING: 2 terrorist squads infiltrated Israel through a tunnel from N. Gaza. IDF aircraft struck 1 sqaud; IDF forces killed 10 terrorists
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 21, 2014
As Israel and Gaza both witnessed the bloodiest day in fourteen days of violence, Palestinian militant group Hamas on late Sunday boasted about having captured an IDF soldier – a claim that was denied by Israeli envoy to the UN.
On Sunday, that was the 13th day of Israel-Gaza violence, the Palestinian death toll shot past 476, said the Gazan health ministry.
With fresh firing from Israel, the death toll rose to 485, taking the complete death toll past 500 (Israel`s death toll added).
As Israeli shelling targeted the town of Shaja`ia, hundreds of residents panicked and fled into Gaza City.
Some 100 Palestinians were killed yesterday with 60 of the victims being killed in Shejaiya alone.
Even Israel lost 13 soldiers yesterday, the toll being higher than the total death toll in last three weeks.
Last night, 13 soldiers from the Golani Infantry Brigade fell protecting the people of Israel.
— IDF (@IDFSpokesperson) July 20, 2014
However, Israel denied the claim of Hamas, calling the reports of an IDF soldier`s capture ans untrue.
Speaking at a UNSC meeting, Israel`s Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor said, "There is no kidnapped Israeli soldier and those rumors are untrue".
Gazan streets erupted in cheer and celebration as the military wing of Hamas claimed having taken an Israeli soldier named Shaul Aaron.
In a televised address, Hamas spokesperson Abu Obeida said, "The Israeli soldier is in the hands of the Qassam Brigades".
Hamas` claim, if claimed, has the potential to be a gamechanger in Israel-Gaza violence.
It may be noted that an Israeli soldier named Gilad Shalit was captured in 2006 and released only after five years in exchange for more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners.
Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8 to stop Hamas rockets falling into Israel. Last Thursday, Israel launched a ground offensive in Gaza to destroy tunnels used by the Hamas militants to infiltrate.
Since the beginning of the ground phase of the operation, the IDF says, it has engaged and killed 110 terrorists & targeted 1302 terror sites.