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3 days of mourning for Gaza victims of Israel 'war crimes'

July 20, 2014 5:01 P.M. (Updated: July 21, 2014 2:20 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday called for three days of mourning for the more than 400 victims of the ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza, as the government called the killings a "war crime."

Abbas announced the days of mourning in a statement on Sunday, saying that flags would be lowered across Palestine and on government offices and embassies abroad.

The president also appealed to the international community to intervene immediately to stop the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip and ensure the imposition of a ceasefire in order to end the 13-day assault that has left more than 400 Palestinians dead and 3,500 injured.

The Palestinian consensus government in a statement condemned the "massacre" of more than 66 Palestinians in Shujaiyya by Israeli forces on Sunday, in an attack that also left more than 400 injured.

The government said that they considered the killings "war crimes that require immediate international intervention to protect Gaza's civilians under the four Geneva Conventions."

Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi also condemned the attacks, calling the situation "nothing short of a deliberate massacre."

“There is an urgent need for all countries to take their responsibilities seriously and intervene to save lives and to curb Israeli violations and war crimes," she said during a meeting with the British consul general, Alastair McPhail, at PLO Headquarters in Ramallah.

"Blatant war crimes are being committed before the eyes of the entire international community, and yet Israel is still given the means to malign an entire nation and persist with its war crimes against the Palestinian people," she said.

"The right to life, freedom and justice are fundamental rights, and we call on all members of the international community and people of conscience to stand up to Israel and put an end to the bloodshed and loss of innocent lives," she added.
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