The UN secretary-general said Tuesday it is his “hope and belief” that his emergency mission to the Middle East will lead to an end to the fighting between Hamas and Israel “in the very near future.”
The number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in the latest round of Gaza violence rose to 469, medics said, after announcing the deaths of another 31 people early Monday.
Israel’s army said Sunday it was expanding its ground offensive against the Gaza Strip, as the bloodiest conflict since 2009 entered its 13th day with a death toll of over 350.
Israeli air strikes pounded Gaza Saturday, taking the death toll from a 12-day bombardment to 334, as UN chief Ban Ki-moon headed to the region to join truce efforts.
Israel launched a large-scale ground offensive in the Gaza Strip Thursday, escalating a 10-day military operation to try to destroy Hamas’ weapons arsenal, rocket firing abilities and tunnels under the Palestinian territory’s border with Israel.