Israel rejects UN resolution on Gaza, vows to continue assault
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Israel said it will pursue heavy attacks on Gaza despite the UN resolution calling for an end to the conflict. More than 18 Palestinians were killed across the Gaza Strip on Friday, medical sources said.
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"The firing of rockets this morning only goes to show that the UN decision is unworkable and will not be adhered to by the murderous Palestinian organisations," Olmert said in a statement.
The UN call for an immediate ceasefire to end the 14-day Gaza assault by the Israeli army has so far failed to stop the Jewish state from carrying out heavy attacks in the region.
Fourteen of the 15 members in the UN Security Council passed a resolution early Friday calling for an "immediate, durable" ceasefire leading to the "full withdrawal" of Israeli forces from Gaza. Only the United States, Israel’s main ally, abstained as it wanted to see the outcome of a peace initiative by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
Gaza's Hamas rulers sent mixed signals about the resolution. Hamas spokesman Ayman Taha said the group did not recognise the resolution as it had not been consulted. However another spokesman said Hamas was "studying" the resolution, according to Reuters
Heavy overnight raids
The total Palestinian death toll rose sharply to 785 as Israel carried new air raids on Gaza Friday.
The United Nations on Friday cited witnesses saying Israeli soldiers evacuated about 110 Palestinians into a house which Israeli forces repeatedly shelled 24 hours later, killing about 30 people.
The Israeli air force attacked more than 50 targets overnight, including rocket-launching sites, weapons production and storage sites, Hamas buildings and outposts as well as gunmen, the military said.
Palestinian medics said at least 12 people were killed in overnight air strikes. Around 20 people were also killed in Israeli strikes on Thursday, including a Ukrainian and a Moroccan woman, both married to Palestinians, they said.
|Hamas rejected the UN resolution|
Since midnight (22:00 GMT Thursday) four missiles fired by Palestinian militants hit the Beersheva area, some 40 kilometres (25 miles) from Gaza, with no damage or injuries reported, a military spokesman said.
Humanitarian crisis deepens
“The humanitarian situation is critical,” reported Sophie Claudet, FRANCE 24’s correspondent in Jerusalem. “A third of the dead are children and there’s no power in 75% of Gaza.”
The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) suspended its operations in Gaza after one of its convoys was hit by Israeli tank shells Thursday while the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) accused Israel of doing too little to help the wounded after rescuers found four small children clinging to their dead mothers..
Hamas criticised the decision by the agency, calling it illogical and inexcusable. “Its duty is to protect victims of war, not to abandon them," spokesman Fawzi Barhum said in a statement.
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