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08:46 am: Israel denies soldier has been abducted by Hamas Israel's UN ambassador denied on Sunday that an Israeli soldier had been abducted by Hamas militants. There is no kidnapped Israeli soldier and those rumors are untrue, said Ambassador Ron Prosor when asked about the kidnapping. The armed wing of the Palestinian Hamas group claimed late Sunday that it had kidnapped an Israeli soldier, prompting celebrations in the streets of Gaza City. The Israeli soldier Shaul Aaron is in the hands of the Qassam Brigades, a spokesman using the nom-de-guerre Abu Obeida said in a televised address. 08:31 am: UN Security Council emegency session begins The UN Security Council opened urgent talks on the escalating violence in Gaza to consider ways of stepping up ceasefire efforts. The 15-member Council met as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was holding talks with leaders in the region amid a spike in violence that left more than 100 Palestinians dead in a single day. We have to know from the secretary-general the result of his efforts, his travels and whether there is any hope of moving forward to a ceasefire, said French Ambassador Gerard Araud as he headed into the meeting. 07:50 am: Another 31 dead as Gaza toll hits 469 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. Emergency services spokesman for the Gaza Strip Ashraf al-Qudra said 72 of the Palestinians had been killed on Sunday in Shejaiya, between Gaza City and the Israeli border, bringing down a previous toll of 73. Qudra said 80 percent of the Shejaiya fatalities were old men, women and children. He said another 4,000 Palestinians were wounded there. Qudra's toll included deaths over the past 15 days. Since the Israeli military started Operation Protective Edge on July 8 in a bid to stamp out rocket fire, Palestinian militants have fired 1,414 mortars and rockets that hit Israel, with the Iron Dome air defence system intercepting another 377, the army said. On Sunday the Israeli army said 13 soldiers had been killed inside Gaza on the third day of a major ground operation, raising to 18 the number of soldiers killed since the ground operation began late on Thursday. Another two Israeli civilians had been killed by rocket fire from Gaza. 07:29 am: Bodies of 11 Palestinians found The bodies of 11 Palestinians killed in Shejaiya between Gaza City and the Israeli border have been found and identified, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said early Monday. The latest fatalities raise the toll of the Palestinians killed Sunday in Shejaiya to 73, hiking the overall toll of Gazans killed since the start of a major Israeli military campaign on 8 July to 449. 07:18 am: UN Security Council agrees to hold emergency meet The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting late Sunday on the situation in Gaza, where the Palestinian death toll passed 100 in a single day. Diplomats said the meeting, open to the public and set for 9:30 pm (0130 GMT Monday), was requested by council member Jordan, following a call by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas. As regional leaders met in Doha for urgent talks on a ceasefire, Abbas said that what the occupation forces did today in Shejaiya is a crime against humanity, referring to a blistering hours-long Israeli assault near Gaza City that has claimed 62 Palestinian lives and wounded another 250. Those who committed it will not go unpunished, Abbas added. As the Palestinian death toll soared to 438 in the bloodiest single day in Gaza in five years, a spokesman for the enclave's emergency services said more than a third of the victims were women and children. The Israeli army said 13 soldiers had been killed inside Gaza on the third day of a major ground operation. The armed wing of Hamas claimed it had kidnapped an Israeli soldier, prompting celebrations in the streets of Gaza City and West Bank cities. The Council's 15 members held a meeting on Gaza Friday but failed to reach agreement on a joint declaration. 07:00 am: 100 dead in Gaza as toll continues to rise At least 100 Palestinians and 13 soldiers were killed Sunday as Israel ramped up a major military offensive in the bloodiest single day in Gaza in five years. The Palestinian president called for an immediate meeting of the UN Security Council as regional leaders met in Doha for urgent talks on a ceasefire. As the Palestinian death toll soared to 438, a spokesman for the Gaza emergency services said more than a third of the victims were women and children. The Israeli army said 13 soldiers had been killed inside Gaza on the third day of a major ground operation. Over the course of the day, 13 soldiers from the IDF's Golani Brigade were killed in combat in the Gaza Strip, a statement said. Their deaths raised to 18 the number of soldiers killed since the ground operation began late on Thursday. It was the largest number of soldiers killed in combat since the 2006 Lebanon war. More than half of Sunday's Palestinian victims were killed in a blistering hours-long Israeli assault on Shejaiya, near Gaza City, which began before dawn and has so far claimed 62 Palestinian lives, with another 250 wounded. With ambulances unable to reach the area, the International Committee of the Red Cross called for an urgent temporary ceasefire to allow paramedics to evacuate the dead and wounded, which was agreed on by the two sides. Inside Shejaiya, there were hellish scenes of carnage and chaos as a convoy of ambulances moved in, an <em>AFP</em> correspondent said. Entire buildings were collapsed on themselves or strewn into the streets, while others were ablaze, sending pillars of dark smoke skywards. There were also bodies, blackened and charred almost beyond recognition, some with whole limbs missing. 12:48 am: Palestinian prez calls for urgent session of UN Security Council United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon urged Israel to exercise maximum restraint and spare the lives of civilians in its campaign in Gaza, where Sunday's Palestinian death toll passed 100. He also condemned the atrocious action of Israel in Shejaiya, near Gaza city, where a blistering hour-long assault at dawn left 62 people dead and at least 250 people wounded. While I was en route to Doha, dozens more civilians, including children had been killed in Israeli military strikes in Shejaiya. I condemn this atrocious action, he told a press conference in Doha, his first stop on a regional trip aimed at bringing an end to the fighting. Israel must exercise maximum restraint and do far more to protect civilians, he said, adding that it also must respect the humanitarian law, as it pressed on with its major military campaign that began on 8 July. Too many innocent people are dying...(and) living in constant fear in the narrow coastal strip controlled by the Islamist Hamas movement, he said. 12:23 am: Palestinian prez calls for urgent session of UN Security Council Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas called Sunday for an immediate session of the UN Security Council, as the Palestinian toll on the 13th day of Israel's Gaza offensive rose to 438. I am calling for an urgent session tonight of the UN Security Council, he said in a televised speech from the Qatari capital Doha. The situation is intolerable, he said, describing the Israeli attacks as crimes against humanity. <em>--End of updates for 20 July--</em> 11:34 pm: Obama calls Netanyahu as Gaza toll continues rising President Barack Obama expressed concern over the loss of life in Gaza in a call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and said Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Cairo to seek an end to the fighting. Obama, who condemned attacks by Hamas on Israel, also raised serious concern about the growing number of casualties, including increasing Palestinian civilian deaths in Gaza and the loss of Israeli soldiers, the White House said, adding that Kerry will travel soon to the Egyptian capital. 11:19 pm: Netanyahu says Israel's Gaza military ops have global support Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday there was very strong international support for the military's ongoing operation in Gaza that has killed more than 430 Palestinians in 13 days. We are carrying out a complex, deep, intensive activity inside the Gaza Strip and there is world support for this ... very strong support within the international community for the activity that the IDF is doing, he said at a press conference in the defence ministry in Tel Aviv. Netanyahu has said Israel won international legitimacy for its military operation in Gaza after it accepted an Egyptian truce proposal on 15 July which was shunned by Hamas. His remarks came shortly after US Secretary of State John Kerry blamed Hamas for perpetuating the bloody conflict in Gaza by stubbornly refusing all ceasefire efforts. By its behaviour, Hamas had invited further actions by Israel, he said. War is ugly, and bad things are going to happen. But they need to recognise their own responsibility, he said. Netanyahu said the operation in Gaza would expand as much as necessary to restore the quiet for Israeli citizens. -<em>AFP</em> 10:10 pm: 8 people killed in Israeli air strikes Eight people were killed in an Israeli air strike on the Rimal neighbourhood of Gaza City on Sunday, the Palestinian emergency services said. Elsewhere, a 15-year-old girl was killed in another air strike on the northern town of Beit Lahiya, raising Sunday's Palestinian death toll to 96, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said. -<em>AFP</em> 9:10 pm: 13 Israeli soldiers killed Thirteen Israeli soldiers were killed in fighting inside the Gaza Strip early Sunday as troops pressed a ground offensive to destroy militant tunnels, an army spokeswoman said.

<strong>08:46 am: Israel denies soldier has been abducted by Hamas</strong> Israel\'s UN ambassador denied on Sunday that an Israeli soldier had been abducted by Hamas militants. There is no kidnapped Israeli soldier and those rumors are untrue, said Ambassador Ron Prosor when asked about the kidnapping. The armed wing of the Palestinian Hamas group claimed late Sunday that it had kidnapped an Israeli soldier, prompting celebrations in the streets of Gaza City. The Israeli soldier Shaul Aaron is in the hands of the Qassam Brigades, a spokesman using the nom-de-guerre Abu Obeida said in a televised address. <strong>08:31 am: UN Security Council emegency session begins</strong> The UN Security Council opened urgent talks on the escalating violence in Gaza to consider ways of stepping up ceasefire efforts. The 15-member Council met as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was holding talks with leaders in the region amid a spike in violence that left more than 100 Palestinians dead in a single day. We have to know from the secretary-general the result of his efforts, his travels and whether there is any hope of moving forward to a ceasefire, said French Ambassador Gerard Araud as he headed into the meeting. <strong>07:50 am: Another 31 dead as Gaza toll hits 469</strong> 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. Emergency services spokesman for the Gaza Strip Ashraf al-Qudra said 72 of the Palestinians had been killed on Sunday in Shejaiya, between Gaza City and the Israeli border, bringing down a previous toll of 73. Qudra said 80 percent of the Shejaiya fatalities were old men, women and children. He said another 4,000 Palestinians were wounded there. Qudra\'s toll included deaths over the past 15 days. Since the Israeli military started Operation Protective Edge on July 8 in a bid to stamp out rocket fire, Palestinian militants have fired 1,414 mortars and rockets that hit Israel, with the Iron Dome air defence system intercepting another 377, the army said. On Sunday the Israeli army said 13 soldiers had been killed inside Gaza on the third day of a major ground operation, raising to 18 the number of soldiers killed since the ground operation began late on Thursday. Another two Israeli civilians had been killed by rocket fire from Gaza. <strong>07:29 am: Bodies of 11 Palestinians found</strong> The bodies of 11 Palestinians killed in Shejaiya between Gaza City and the Israeli border have been found and identified, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said early Monday. The latest fatalities raise the toll of the Palestinians killed Sunday in Shejaiya to 73, hiking the overall toll of Gazans killed since the start of a major Israeli military campaign on 8 July to 449. <strong>07:18 am: UN Security Council agrees to hold emergency meet</strong> The United Nations Security Council will hold an emergency meeting late Sunday on the situation in Gaza, where the Palestinian death toll passed 100 in a single day. Diplomats said the meeting, open to the public and set for 9:30 pm (0130 GMT Monday), was requested by council member Jordan, following a call by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas. As regional leaders met in Doha for urgent talks on a ceasefire, Abbas said that what the occupation forces did today in Shejaiya is a crime against humanity, referring to a blistering hours-long Israeli assault near Gaza City that has claimed 62 Palestinian lives and wounded another 250. Those who committed it will not go unpunished, Abbas added. As the Palestinian death toll soared to 438 in the bloodiest single day in Gaza in five years, a spokesman for the enclave\'s emergency services said more than a third of the victims were women and children. The Israeli army said 13 soldiers had been killed inside Gaza on the third day of a major ground operation. The armed wing of Hamas claimed it had kidnapped an Israeli soldier, prompting celebrations in the streets of Gaza City and West Bank cities. The Council\'s 15 members held a meeting on Gaza Friday but failed to reach agreement on a joint declaration. <strong>07:00 am: 100 dead in Gaza as toll continues to rise</strong> At least 100 Palestinians and 13 soldiers were killed Sunday as Israel ramped up a major military offensive in the bloodiest single day in Gaza in five years. The Palestinian president called for an immediate meeting of the UN Security Council as regional leaders met in Doha for urgent talks on a ceasefire. As the Palestinian death toll soared to 438, a spokesman for the Gaza emergency services said more than a third of the victims were women and children. The Israeli army said 13 soldiers had been killed inside Gaza on the third day of a major ground operation. Over the course of the day, 13 soldiers from the IDF\'s Golani Brigade were killed in combat in the Gaza Strip, a statement said. Their deaths raised to 18 the number of soldiers killed since the ground operation began late on Thursday. It was the largest number of soldiers killed in combat since the 2006 Lebanon war. More than half of Sunday\'s Palestinian victims were killed in a blistering hours-long Israeli assault on Shejaiya, near Gaza City, which began before dawn and has so far claimed 62 Palestinian lives, with another 250 wounded. With ambulances unable to reach the area, the International Committee of the Red Cross called for an urgent temporary ceasefire to allow paramedics to evacuate the dead and wounded, which was agreed on by the two sides. Inside Shejaiya, there were hellish scenes of carnage and chaos as a convoy of ambulances moved in, an <em>AFP</em> correspondent said. Entire buildings were collapsed on themselves or strewn into the streets, while others were ablaze, sending pillars of dark smoke skywards. There were also bodies, blackened and charred almost beyond recognition, some with whole limbs missing. <strong>12:48 am: Palestinian prez calls for urgent session of UN Security Council</strong> United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon urged Israel to exercise maximum restraint and spare the lives of civilians in its campaign in Gaza, where Sunday\'s Palestinian death toll passed 100. He also condemned the atrocious action of Israel in Shejaiya, near Gaza city, where a blistering hour-long assault at dawn left 62 people dead and at least 250 people wounded. While I was en route to Doha, dozens more civilians, including children had been killed in Israeli military strikes in Shejaiya. I condemn this atrocious action, he told a press conference in Doha, his first stop on a regional trip aimed at bringing an end to the fighting. Israel must exercise maximum restraint and do far more to protect civilians, he said, adding that it also must respect the humanitarian law, as it pressed on with its major military campaign that began on 8 July. Too many innocent people are dying...(and) living in constant fear in the narrow coastal strip controlled by the Islamist Hamas movement, he said. <strong>12:23 am: Palestinian prez calls for urgent session of UN Security Council</strong> Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas called Sunday for an immediate session of the UN Security Council, as the Palestinian toll on the 13th day of Israel\'s Gaza offensive rose to 438. I am calling for an urgent session tonight of the UN Security Council, he said in a televised speech from the Qatari capital Doha. The situation is intolerable, he said, describing the Israeli attacks as crimes against humanity. <em>--End of updates for 20 July--</em> <strong>11:34 pm: Obama calls Netanyahu as Gaza toll continues rising</strong> President Barack Obama expressed concern over the loss of life in Gaza in a call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and said Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Cairo to seek an end to the fighting. Obama, who condemned attacks by Hamas on Israel, also raised serious concern about the growing number of casualties, including increasing Palestinian civilian deaths in Gaza and the loss of Israeli soldiers, the White House said, adding that Kerry will travel soon to the Egyptian capital. <strong>11:19 pm: Netanyahu says Israel\'s Gaza military ops have global support</strong> Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday there was very strong international support for the military\'s ongoing operation in Gaza that has killed more than 430 Palestinians in 13 days. We are carrying out a complex, deep, intensive activity inside the Gaza Strip and there is world support for this ... very strong support within the international community for the activity that the IDF is doing, he said at a press conference in the defence ministry in Tel Aviv. Netanyahu has said Israel won international legitimacy for its military operation in Gaza after it accepted an Egyptian truce proposal on 15 July which was shunned by Hamas. His remarks came shortly after US Secretary of State John Kerry blamed Hamas for perpetuating the bloody conflict in Gaza by stubbornly refusing all ceasefire efforts. By its behaviour, Hamas had invited further actions by Israel, he said. War is ugly, and bad things are going to happen. But they need to recognise their own responsibility, he said. Netanyahu said the operation in Gaza would expand as much as necessary to restore the quiet for Israeli citizens. -<em>AFP</em> <strong>10:10 pm: 8 people killed in Israeli air strikes</strong> Eight people were killed in an Israeli air strike on the Rimal neighbourhood of Gaza City on Sunday, the Palestinian emergency services said. Elsewhere, a 15-year-old girl was killed in another air strike on the northern town of Beit Lahiya, raising Sunday\'s Palestinian death toll to 96, emergency services spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said. -<em>AFP</em> <strong>9:10 pm: 13 Israeli soldiers killed</strong> Thirteen Israeli soldiers were killed in fighting inside the Gaza Strip early Sunday as troops pressed a ground offensive to destroy militant tunnels, an army spokeswoman said. [caption id=attachment_1627065 align=alignleft width=380 View full gallery