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OBAMA CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE TRUCE AS GAZA DEATH TOLL RAISED

US President Barack Obama called for an “immediate ceasefire” between Israel and Hamas on Sunday, after the bloodiest day of fighting in Gaza raised the number of Palestinians killed to 476.
While 13 Israeli  soldiers had been killed inside Gaza on Sunday, raising to 18 the number of soldiers killed since the ground operation began late on Thursday.
It was the largest number of Israeli soldiers killed in combat since the 2006 Lebanon war.
In their second call in three days, Obama “reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself” and called for an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza.
Late Sunday, the armed wing of Hamas claimed it had kidnapped an Israeli soldier, prompting celebrations in the streets of Gaza City and West Bank cities.
“The Israeli soldier Shaul Aaron is in the hands of the Qassam Brigades,” a spokesman using the nom-de-guerre Abu Obeida said in a televised address. A spokeswoman for the Israeli military said they were investigating the claim.
The United Nations Security Council opened urgent talks on efforts to strike a ceasefire deal as Israel ramped up a major military offensive with fresh strikes Monday in the Palestinian territory.
So far, truce efforts have been rejected by Hamas which has pressed on with its own attacks, undaunted by the Israeli bombardment by land, sea and air.
  • The UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA has opened 61 of its schools to shelter more than 81,000 people who have fled their homes.


Source: AFP( Yahoo News)
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