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The conflict between Israel and Gaza has seen its deadliest day since violence began almost two weeks ago. About 100 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers were killed in the latest outbreak of fighting, causing the death toll to top 500 since the start of the conflict; a large number of the deaths have been Palestinian civilians.
Two Americans were among the 13 killed; Max Steinberg and Sean Carmeli were fighting for Israeli Defense Forces when they lost their lives.
World leaders have now called on Israel and Gaza for a ceasefire in hopes that the death toll will not rise further.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon said, “I condemn this atrocious action. Israel must exercise maximum restraint and do far more to protect the civilians.”
In a statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel will continue the offensive as long as necessary to “restore quiet.” The Prime Minister had previously accused Hamas leaders of using Palestinian civilians as human shields.
“Israel did not choose to enter this campaign but from the moment it was forced upon us we will implement it until we achieve its result,” Netanyahu said.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has now returned to Cairo to push for for a ceasefire along with other world leaders. Previously, Israel accepted a ceasefire proposal from Egypt, but Hamas rejected the proposal so the violence continued.
Publication date: July 21, 2014