UN condemns Israel's Gaza bombing as Palestinian death toll climbs
United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, Nickolay Mladenov urged calm, saying the UN is trying to de-escalate the conflict between Islamic Jihad fighters and Israel.
"The UN is working to urgently de-escalate the situation," Mladenov said in a statement.
"I am very concerned about the ongoing and serious escalation between Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Israel, following the targeted killing of one of the group’s leaders inside Gaza yesterday," he added.
Gaza since 2007 experienced three devastating wars with Israel – in 2007, 2012 and 2014. The wars, along with a brutal 12 year blockade has left the besieged enclave devastated.
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"The continuing escalation is very dangerous. It is yet another attempt to undermine the efforts to improve the dire socio-economic conditions in Gaza and prevent another devastating conflict."
Mladenov condemned what he referred to as the "indiscriminate" use of rockets and mortars into Israeli towns bordering Gaza, which he said "is absolutely unacceptable and must stop immediately", adding.
"There can be no justification for any attacks against civilians."
As of Wednesday afternoon, 24 people in Gaza, including civilians and children have been killed by Israeli strikes. At least 69 have been injured according to the Gaza based health ministry.
Tensions escalated between Gaza and Israel after a commander of Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad was killed in a strike on his home in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday.
Islamic Jihad's armed wing announced the death of the commander in Gaza City after Israel confirmed it had targeted Baha Abu Al-Ata, 42, in a strike. The group said Ata's wife was also killed.