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UN Security Coucil Calls Emergency Session on Gaza

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UN Security Council is to hold an emergency special session on the situation on the Middle East in the next several hours, said in a statement distributed late on Sunday by Rwandan Ambassador Eugene-Richard Gasana.

UNITED NATIONS, July 28 (RIA Novosti) - UN Security Council is to hold an emergency special session on the situation on the Middle East in the next several hours, said in a statement distributed late on Sunday by Rwandan Ambassador Eugene-Richard Gasana.

The statement said the open meeting of the Security Council was to take place at midnight on Sunday local time [4:00 GMT on Monday] and is expected to focus on "the Middle East, including the Palestinian issue."

The situation in the Gaza Strip span out of control over the past weekend, as fighting resumed between Palestine's rebels from the Hamas movement and Israel after what seemed to be a promising 12-hour ceasefire on Saturday.

Israel decided late Saturday to extend the ceasefire until the end of Sunday at the UN request. The truce was called off, however, after the Palestinian militants refused to maintain the truce demanding withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza and fired rockets at Israel.

Hamas was reported to have agreed to a new 24-hour ceasefire with the Israeli army until 2:00 p.m. local time (11:00 GMT) on Monday, but Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told CNN hours later that Hamas violated its own the ceasefire.

More than 1,000 Palestinians have died in the ongoing military operation launched by Israel early July against Hamas and its allied militant groups. According to recent estimates, the Israeli side has lost more than 40 soldiers and three civilians.

Israel launched its Operation Protective Edge to put an end to rocket fire from Gaza and undermining the Hamas movement, which controls the region, on July 8. On July 17, the Israeli Army switched to a ground assault, largely aimed at locating and destroying underground tunnels dug by militants to sneak into Israel and transport weapons.

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