Abbas declares Gaza 'humanitarian disaster zone'
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has declared the embattled Gaza Strip a "humanitarian disaster zone" and called for a swift intervention from the United Nations and international community to provide international protection for Palestinians against the Israeli "aggressions", Anadolu agency reported.
In a letter to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, Abbas called on the international relief bodies to provide urgent assistance to Gaza, which has been reeling under a crippling Israeli military offensive since July 7.
"The Israeli aggression undermines the right of the Palestinian people to life," Abbas said in his letter.
He also called for establishing safe refugees for displaced Gazans and providing food, water and medicine for those affected by the Israeli onslaught.
The Gaza Strip has been ravaged by relentless Israeli attacks since July 7, leaving 1359 Palestinians - mostly civilians - dead and at least 7677 others injured.
Israel claims that the offensive, now in its fourth week, aims at halting rocket fire from the blockaded Palestinian territory.
Gaza-based Palestinian factions, meanwhile, have continued to fire rockets at Israeli cities in response to the ongoing Israeli attacks.
At least 56 Israelis - 53 soldiers and three civilians - have been killed since the hostilities began.
Israel's military operation, dubbed operation "Protective Edge," is the self-proclaimed Jewish state's third major offensive against the densely-populate Gaza Strip - which is home to some 1.8 million Palestinians - within the last six years.
In 2008/9, over 1500 Palestinians were killed in Israel's three-week-long operation "Cast Lead."