4:32 pm - Thursday January 17, 2019

Netanyahu slams UN’s cease-fire call in Gaza

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday criticised the UN Security Council’s call for ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, saying it strengthens Hamas and neglects Israel’s security needs.

In a telephone talk with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Mr. Netanyahu slammed Monday’s call by the council for “an immediate and unconditional humanitarian cease-fire”, Xinhua reported.

“The statement relates to the needs of a murderous terrorist organisation that is attacking Israeli civilians and does not address Israel’s security needs,” Mr. Netanyahu told Ban, according to a press release by his office.

The UN and US are mounting pressure to halt the 21-day raging conflict between Israel and Hamas-ruled Gaza, which so far has claimed the lives of more than 1,030 Palestinians, at least 70 percent of whom were civilians, and 46 Israelis, including 43 soldiers. Israel said on Monday said it embarks on a new “unlimited ceasefire” policy but both sides failed to achieve even a temporary lull.

By noon, Israel resumed artillery shelling and air strikes in the northern Gaza Strip, saying the shooting was aimed at sites from which militants have fired rockets earlier Monday. At least two people were killed in the attacks. Hamas also resumed rocket fire towards southern Israel. No casualties or injured were reported.

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