News / Middle East

UN Security Council to Hold Emergency Session on Gaza

Palestinians, one holding a white flag, flee Gaza City's Shijaiyah neighborhood, northern Gaza Strip, July 20, 2014.
Palestinians, one holding a white flag, flee Gaza City's Shijaiyah neighborhood, northern Gaza Strip, July 20, 2014.
VOA News

The United Nations Security Council is set to meet late Sunday for an emergency session on the crisis in the Gaza Strip, as Israel presses its air and ground offensive against Hamas.

Jordan requested the meeting after an estimated 100 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers were reported killed Sunday - most of them in the Shijaiyah area of the battered enclave.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon - in the Middle East trying to broker a cease-fire - condemned Sunday's bloodshed and called for an immediate end to the fighting.

Israeli soldiers and a relative of Israeli soldier Bnaya Rubel mourn during Rubel's funeral in Holon, near Tel Aviv, July 20, 2014.Israeli soldiers and a relative of Israeli soldier Bnaya Rubel mourn during Rubel's funeral in Holon, near Tel Aviv, July 20, 2014.
x
Israeli soldiers and a relative of Israeli soldier Bnaya Rubel mourn during Rubel's funeral in Holon, near Tel Aviv, July 20, 2014.
Israeli soldiers and a relative of Israeli soldier Bnaya Rubel mourn during Rubel's funeral in Holon, near Tel Aviv, July 20, 2014.

Thousands of Palestinians on Sunday fled Shijaiyah, where the streets were strewn with casualties and rubble.

Palestinian health officials say the death toll from nearly two weeks of Israeli bombardments of Gaza has surpassed 400, mostly civilians.

Late Sunday, a Hamas spokesman said militants had captured an Israeli soldier in Gaza. No details were released.

Israel's U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor said late Sunday there was no kidnapped Israeli soldier, dismissing a televised announcement in the Gaza Strip from Hamas's armed wing that it had captured an Israeli soldier during the fighting in Shejaia.

“There's no kidnapped Israeli soldier and those rumors are untrue,” Prosor told reporters at the United Nations.  

The Israeli army said 13 of its soldiers were killed Sunday, bringing Israel's death toll to 18 soldiers and two civilians. 

Israeli authorities say the offensive is aimed at destroying missile stockpiles and a system of tunnels Hamas has built to infiltrate Israel.

Gaza residents told VOA they experienced the heaviest period of military action overnight since the latest conflict began July 8.

Both sides agreed Sunday to a two-hour humanitarian truce for the hard-hit Shijaiyah neighborhood, at the request of the International Committee of the Red Cross. But the pause lasted only 40 minutes.

Israel began a ground offensive into Gaza late Thursday after airstrikes failed to stop Hamas' cross-border rocket attacks.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CNN on Sunday that Israel will take whatever action is necessary to halt rocket attacks from Gaza.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, during a series of interviews Sunday, blamed Hamas for the continuation of the conflict and said Israel has a right to defend itself.

Kerry heads to Cairo Monday for a series of emergency talks with senior Egyptians and other officials on the crisis.

In Cairo, Arab League Secretary-General Nabil el-Araby issued a statement describing the Israeli shelling and ground attacks in the Shijaiyah neighborhood as "a war crime against Palestinian civilians and a dangerous escalation."

You May Like

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party More

Video One Year After Massacre, Iraq’s Yazidis a Broken People

Minority community still recovering from devastating assault by IS militants which spurred massive outrage More

‘Malvertisements’ Undermine Internet Trust

Hackers increasingly prey on users' trust of major websites to delivery malicious software More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs