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Heavy Gaza attacks kill over 50 Palestinians

July 21, 2014 9:38 A.M. (Updated: July 22, 2014 1:37 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces continued airstrikes and artillery assaults on the Gaza Strip Monday for the 14th day, killing multiple members of three extended families as the death toll tops 500.

The latest strikes in Gaza City killed five members of the al-Yaziji family, including Yasmin Nayif al-Yaziji, Mayar Nayif al-Yaziji, two, Wajdi al-Yaziji, Safinaz al-Yaziji, and Anas al-Yaziji, five.

In Khan Younis, Karam Ibrahim Atiyeh Barham, 25, Nidal Ali Abu Daqqa, 26, Nidal Jumaa Asi, 43, and Muhammad Mahmoud al-Mughrabi, 24, were killed in an airstrike, and Mahran Kamil Jundiya, Majdi Mahmoud al-Yaziji, 56, and Samih al-Ghalban were killed in eastern Gaza City.

Three others were killed in ongoing fighting in the besieged Shujaiyeh neighborhood of Gaza City.

Earlier, an Israeli airstrike killed 11 members of the Siyam family in Rafah, including an eight-month old baby and two other children.

Sumud Nasser Siyam, 26, Muhammad Mahrous Salam Siyam, 25, Badir Nabil Mahrous Siyam, 25, Ahmad Ayman Mahrous Siyam, 17, Mustafa Nabil Mahrous Siyam, 12, Ghayda Nabil Mahrous Siyam, 8, Sherin Muhammad Salam Siyam, 32, Dalal Nabil Mahrous Siyam, 8 months, and Kamal Mahrous Salamah Siyam, 27, were pulled from the rubble.

In Khan Younis, at least 26 members of the Abu Jami family were killed by Israeli shelling, after more bodies were pulled from the rubble.

Earlier, medics identified 13 victims as Jawdat Tawfiq Ahmad Abu Jami, 24, Tawfiq Ahmad Abu Jami, 5, Hayfa Tawfiq Ahmad Abu Jami, 9, Yasmin Ahmad Salamah Abu Jami, 25, Suheila Bassam Abu Jami, Shahinaz Walid Muhammad Abu Jami, one-year-old, Rayan Abu Jami, 9, an elderly woman Fatima Abu Jami, Rozan Abu Jami, 14, and Ahmad Salhoub, 34, a next door neighbor.

Bilal Abu Daqqa and Abdul-Rahman al-Qarra were killed in an airstrike on the al-Mughrabi family home east of Khan Younis, while the body of Mahmoud al-Nakhala was pulled out from underneath rubble in Gaza City.

Two more bodies were pulled form the rubble in the Shujaiyeh neighborhood, while one person was killed in al-Nuseirat, fisherman Raed Bardawil in Rafah, Zakariya Masoud al-Ashqar, 24, and Raed Issam Dawood, 33, in Zaytoun, and Kamal Talal Hasan al-Masri, 22, in Beit Hanoun.

Diplomatic push

Gaza's emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said many of the more than 150 Palestinians killed on Sunday -- the bloodiest day of fighting in Gaza in years -- were women and children.

The Security Council held urgent talks on the conflict, expressing "serious concern about the growing numbers of casualties."

"The members of the Security Council call for an immediate cessation of hostilities," said Rwandan ambassador Eugene Richard Gasana, whose country chairs the 15-member council.

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 towns.

"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.

Israel's UN ambassador Ron Prosor denied a soldier had been kidnapped, saying: "Those rumors are untrue."

However a spokeswoman for the Israeli military said they were investigating the claim.

During the Security Council talks, Palestinian envoy Ryad Mansour called for decisive steps to end the violence, and voiced frustration with what he termed the world body's failure to take a strong stand.

"The Council failed again and again to shoulder its responsibility," Mansour told reporters.

UN chief Ban Ki-moon was also in Doha where he urged Israel to "exercise maximum restraint".

"Too many innocent people are dying...(and) living in constant fear," he told a news conference in Doha.

So far, ceasefire proposals have been rejected by Hamas which has pressed on with its own attacks.

The Doctors Without Borders charity urged Israel to "stop bombing civilians trapped in the Gaza Strip", noting the majority of the injured arriving in the al-Shifa hospital were women and children.
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