Israeli PM vows to keep using ‘full force’ in Gaza despite UN call to end ‘utterly appalling’ violence


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said his country’s military campaign in Gaza will continue with “full force”, as the number killed in an overnight airstrike rose to 42.

The comments come as the UN Security Council meets to discuss the violence, with the UN’s secretary general Antonio Guterres calling for an immediate end to the fighting.

Mr Netanyahu said in a televised speech: “Our campaign against the terrorist organisations is continuing with full force. We are acting now, for as long as necessary, to restore calm and quiet to you, Israel’s citizens. It will take time.”

His comments came as Gaza health officials said 16 women and 10 children were among those killed in the airstrike – the most deadly single attack so far – bringing the number who have died in Gaza since last Monday to 190, including 54 children.

Israel’s military said soon after that the deaths were “unintentional” and it had been targeting a militant tunnel system, which collapsed, causing the home to collapse as well.

Opening a meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the ongoing conflict, the organisation’s secretary general Antonio Guterres said the hostilities were “utterly appalling” and the fighting must stop immediately.

He said “the United Nations is actively engaging all sides towards an immediate cease-fire” but warned that the violence in Gaza “only perpetuates the cycles of death, destruction and despair, and pushes farther to the horizon any hopes of coexistence and peace”.

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The organisation’s peace envoy Tor Wennesland said called on the international community to “take action now to enable the parties to step back from the brink”.

Palestinian and Israeli representatives went next, with a further 20 ambassadors and foreign ministers due to speak as the session continues into the evening, including the UK.

The meeting was taking place as UK prime minister Boris Johnson condemned anti-Semitism after the Met Police said it was investigating a video appearing to show racist language being shouted from a convoy of cars in the St John’s Wood area of London on Sunday.

Mr Johnson tweeted: “There is no place for antisemitism in our society. Ahead of Shavuot, I stand with Britain’s Jews who should not have to endure the type of shameful racism we have seen today.”

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