U.N. and State Department Call for an End to Violence in Gaza

15 Palestinian fighters were killed by Israeli airstrikes today in the bloodiest day in that region in over a year. The action has drawn widespread criticism.

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The second day of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza has resulted in the death of 15 Palestinian militants, the AP reports. It's the deadliest day of violence in that region in over a year. The strikes comes in response to the firing of over 100 rockets by Palestinians directly at major cities in Israel, which resulted in at least one serious injury. (The minimized damage was aided in part by the Iron Dome, a cutting-edge defense system that successfully intercepted 25 of the missiles.)

At the Arab League meeting in Cairo today, the counter-attacks were decried as a "massacre," and the action earned the rebukes from both the United Nations and the State Department, which said in a statement, " "we condemn in the strongest terms the rocket fire from Gaza by terrorists into southern Israel in recent days, which has dramatically and dangerously escalated in the past day" and added that the U.S. "called on both sides to show restraint."*

The flareup began on Friday, with a targeted killing of Zuhair al-Qaissi, a top Palestinian militant, and two of his high-ranking officers.

Pictured: Palestinians carry the body of Islamic Jihad militant Ahmad Hajaj during his funeral today in Gaza City. [AP]

*This story was updated to underline that the U.N. and the State Department called on both Palestinian militants and Israeli forcesto end the recent surge in violence.  

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.