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Gaza death toll rises to 29

GAZA CITY: The death toll from violence in Gaza has risen to 29, including six children, the health ministry in the Palestinian enclave said Sunday, correcting a previous statement.

Earlier the ministry had put the number of people killed at 32, but a further ministry statement brought the number down to 29, including six children and four women.

The health ministry also said that 253 people in Gaza had been wounded since the hostilities with Israel broke out on Friday.

The violence is the worst in Gaza since a war last year that devastated the impoverished territory home to some 2.3 million Palestinians and forced countless Israelis to seek shelter from rockets.

The latest deadly flare-up between the Israeli military and Palestinian militants in Gaza has drawn mixed reactions from the international community, along with a chorus of calls for a de-escalation.

Pakistan: PM Shehbaz Sharif took to the Twitter to state: “Martyrdom of 10 Palestinians including 5-year-old girl in Gaza is latest act of Israeli terrorism.If impunity & barbarism had a face, it would have been that of Israel, which has targeted Palestinians without any care for consequences.Pakistan strongly condemns Israeli airstrikes.”

– United States –

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby urged calm from both sides but said US ally Israel had the right to defend itself.

“We certainly urge all sides to avoid further escalation… We absolutely fully support Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorist groups that are taking the lives of innocent civilians in Israel,” he said.

– Russia –

Russia, whose ties with Israel have been tested by Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, appeared to pin initial blame on the Jewish state.

“We are observing with profound worry how events are evolving,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, adding that Moscow was calling “on all the parties involved to show maximum restraint”.

“The new escalation was caused by Israeli army firing into the Gaza Strip on August 5, to which Palestinian groups responded by carrying out massive and indiscriminate bombardments on Israeli territory,” she said.

– Britain –

Britain called for “a swift end to the violence”, while reasserting its support of Israel.

“The UK stands by Israel and its right to defend itself,” Foreign Secretary Liz Truss tweeted.

“We condemn terrorist groups firing at civilians and violence which has resulted in casualties on both sides.”

Health authorities in the Palestinian enclave have said a five-year-old girl was among 15 people killed in Israeli bombardment.

No deaths have been reported on the Israeli side.

– European Union –

The EU called for maximum restraint, as Israel warned Saturday that its air strikes could last a week and as cross-border fire reverberated for a second day, in the worst escalation since the last Gaza war in 2021.

“The European Union follows with great concern the latest developments in and around Gaza,” a spokesman for the EU’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said.

“The EU calls for maximum restraint on all sides… While Israel has the right to protect its civilian population, everything must be done to prevent a broader conflict,” he said.

– United Nations –

UN Middle East peace envoy Tor Wennesland said he was “deeply concerned”, warning that the escalation was “very dangerous”.

– Egypt –

Egypt, historically a broker between Israel and armed groups in Gaza, has reportedly been seeking to mediate and may host a delegation from Islamic Jihad over the weekend.

The militant group has been firing rockets from Gaza after one of its commanders was killed in an Israeli strike on Friday.

– Arab League –

The Arab League “condemned in the strongest possible terms the ferocious Israeli aggression against Gaza”.

– Jordan –

Jordan’s foreign ministry has “stressed the importance of halting the Israeli aggression”.

– Iran –

Iran, a supporter of Gaza militants, said the territory was “not alone” in its fight.

“We are with you on this path until the end, and let Palestine and the Palestinians know that they are not alone,” Iran’s Revolutionary Guards chief Major General Hossein Salami told Islamic Jihad leader Ziad al-Nakhala during a meeting in Tehran. | YouTube Channel | YouTube Channel

Nimra Jamali

Nimra Jamali, presently studying in London, writes on international politics for