Israel and Hamas have begun renewed attacks on each other after a 24-hour ceasefire, despite the UN Security Council calling for an immediate peace truce.
Israel has said that it was responding to the ‘incessant rocket fire’ by Hamas throughout the ceasefire period and will resume aerial, naval and ground attacks in the Gaza Strip.
However, the country has said that its army will fire only as a response to Hamas’ attacks.
Ceasefire was announced for two 12-hour periods on Saturday. According to media reports, Hamas has proposed another 24-hour ceasefire on Sunday during the Eid-ul-Fitr holiday period that began today.
The UN Security Council today called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire to allow for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the Gaza Strip.
The council said in a statement: "The Security Council also calls on parties to engage in efforts to achieve a durable and fully respected ceasefire, based on the Egyptian initiative."
The 21-day conflict between the countries killed more than 1,000 Palestinians, mostly children and women. According to Israel, around 40 of its soldiers have been killed.
Israel’s offensive on Gaza has left more than 170,000 people homeless. The region had a population of 1.8 million.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday appealed for a seven-day humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza as a prelude to renewing a political process.
He said that the ongoing fighting emphasises the need to end the 47-year-old occupation and the chokehold on Gaza.
"There is no military solution to addressing the grievances and all parties must find a way to dialogue," Ban Ki-moon said.
Image: The remains of demolished and damaged homes in Beach Camp close to Gaza City. Photo courtesy of UNIFEED video.