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UN Security Council calls for humanitarian pauses in Gaza

July 31, 2014 10:28 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 1, 2014 11:26 A.M.)
UNITED NATIONS, United States (AFP) -- The UN Security Council on Thursday called for humanitarian pauses in Gaza and renewed its appeal for an immediate ceasefire.

The Council expressed "grave disappointment" that repeated appeals for an end to the fighting had not been heeded.

Washington said it had agreed to restock Israel's dwindling munitions supplies, despite increasing international concern over the death toll in Gaza, where 1,437 people have been killed in 24 days of violence.

But the White House on Thursday said there was little doubt Israeli artillery was the source of a "totally indefensible" strike that killed 16 people at a UN school in Gaza, the day before.

"It does not appear there's a lot of doubt about whose artillery was involved in this incident," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said

"There is clearly more that can and should be done to ensure the safety of innocent civilians," he added.

Rights groups estimate 80 percent of the conflict's victims are civilians.

The top UN refugee official in Gaza told the Security Council on Thursday that his UNRWA Palestinian refugee agency was stretched to breaking point by the massive humanitarian fallout from the fighting.

"I believe the population is facing a precipice and appeal to the international community to take the steps necessary to address this extreme situation," Pierre Krähenbühl said.
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