Gaza death toll reaches 260

Photo: Gaza death toll reaches 260 / Politics

Baku, Azerbaijan, July 18

By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:

The number of killed during the military operations carried out by the Israeli Air Force in the Gaza Strip has hit some 259 people, the vast majority civilians, Al Jazeera TV channel reported on July 18.

The Gaza Strip suffers from an acute shortage of drinking water, amongst other things, according to the TV channel.

The Israeli army launched a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip on the morning of July 18. The ground phase began after 10 days of Israeli military action that was limited to remote air and sea bombardments.

Turkey put forward an initiative on July 18 to convene an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the UN Human Rights Council over Israel's ground operation in the Gaza Strip, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmed Davutoglu said.

Davutoglu underscored that he expects such initiatives from other countries as well and condemned the ground operation launched by Israel in the Gaza Strip.

"I just talked to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and we urged to convene an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council," Turkish foreign minister said.

Following the discovery of corpses of three abducted Jewish teenagers on July 12 in the West Bank, the Israeli government accused the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas.

Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said that new military operations would be launched in the Gaza Strip in revenge on Hamas for the killing of the teenagers.

Earlier, on July 2, 17-year-old Muhammed Abu Khudair was kidnapped and killed in Jerusalem which led to rocket strikes on Israeli cities from the Gaza Strip.

Then on July 8, Israel announced the beginning of a military operation dubbed "Protective Edge" in the Gaza Strip.

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