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UN Security Council to meet on Gaza violence


United Nations, United States: The UN Security Council will meet behind closed doors later Tuesday to discuss the escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip, the worst flare-up since the 2014 war.
Kuwait, which represents Arab countries at the council, and Bolivia requested the meeting during which council members will hear a briefing from a UN official on the crisis, diplomats said.
Palestinian militant groups including Hamas, which rules Gaza, issued a joint statement earlier announcing an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Israel.
The groups said they would abide by the truce as long as Israel did the same, but there was no immediate comment from the Israeli side.
Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon said: “we will not accept a call for both sides to exercise restraint.”
“There is one side that attacks and fires 400 missiles at civilian populations, and there is another side that protects its citizens,” Danon said in a statement.
Seven Palestinians were killed in Gaza as Israeli strikes targeted militants and flattened buildings in the worst escalation of violence since the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas.
The latest round of violence began on Sunday with a botched Israeli special forces operation inside the Gaza Strip that turned deadly and prompted Hamas to vow revenge.
Palestinian militants responded with rocket and mortar fire. An anti-tank missile hit a bus that Hamas says was being used by Israeli soldiers. A soldier was severely wounded in the attack.
Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza have fought three wars since 2008, and protests and clashes along the Gaza border since March 30 have repeatedly raised fears of a fourth.

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