Saudi-GCC States Continue Bombardment of Yemen. Washington Triggers Escalation Amid Growing Humanitarian Crisis
There is no let-up in the United States supported Saudi Arabian and Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) war against Yemen. As the death toll mounts, Riyadh and its allies representing the ousted government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi have rejected efforts aimed at declaring a ceasefire and re-opening political dialogue among the various political forces in the country.
Former President Ali Abdullah Saleh urged the various groups involved in the struggle for political power to accept the United Nations proposals requesting the withdrawal from territories contested in the fighting. Saleh still maintains influence in Yemen through his General People’s Congress which was the subject of massive protests during 2011.
Saleh left office in a transitional agreement that was designed to pave the way for a more inclusive government. However, the problems of the country could not be fully resolved with U.S. and Saudi interventions aimed at maintaining western influence in this underdeveloped state.
An alliance between elements within the military who are still loyal to Saleh and the Ansurallah Movement (Houthis) has taken control of large sections of the country. Saudi-GCC airstrikes have destroyed residential areas resulting in anywhere between 1,000-2,800 deaths.
Despite an announcement on April 21 that it was suspending air strikes against Yemen, the Saudi-GCC alliance has continued to bomb indiscriminately across the central and southern regions of the country. Civilians were killed in numerous airstrikes over the last few days even though the Saudi foreign ministry says that it is ”winding down its campaign.”
Saudi foreign ministry statements indicate that they do not want any enhanced authority for the Ansurallah to come out of negotiations for a new political dispensation in Yemen. Such a position will only intensify the war that threatens to spread further throughout the region.
Published time: March 25, 2015 23:49
Edited time: March 26, 2015 05:25
Saudi Arabian forces, joined by nine other countries, have launched a military operation in Yemen against Shiite Houthi rebels, the Saudi ambassador to the US said. The offensive, which started with airstrikes, will also involve “other military assets.”
According to Ambassador Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, the military operation in Yemen started at 7 p.m. EST (11 p.m. GMT). The US is not participating in the operation, the envoy stressed.
Al Arabiya reported that warplanes of the Royal Saudi Air Force bombed positions of Yemen’s Houthi militia, targeting their air defenses.
The Saudi-led coalition has declared Yemeni airspace a “restricted zone.” Ships in the region have also been urged not to approach Yemen’s ports due to the ongoing military operation.
More than 20 people have reportedly died and over 30 others were injured following Saudi Arabia-led airstrikes in Yemen, Sputnik news agency cited local security and medical sources as saying.
The majority of the strikes around Sanaa hit residential areas located near the capital’s international airport. Government buildings and the airport were also hit during the offensive.
Reports from the ground indicate that Saudi forces have bombed an office belonging to Houthi rebels in Sanaa’s Jiraf area. A Houthi-run TV channel reported dozens of civilian casualties following airstrikes north of Sanaa.
Residents said that warplanes targeted the capital’s airport, according to Reuters.
Houthis used heavy anti-aircraft fire to respond to the bombing.
Another warplane attack was said to have been launched on Sanaa’s Dulaimi military airbase. Al-Jubair told Al Jazeera that Houthi fighters are in control of Yemeni’s ballistic and heavy weaponry and could be taking over the country’s air force.
Reports citing Yemeni security services said four Sukhoi jets stationed at the Dulaimi military airbase were destroyed in airstrikes. Meanwhile, an Al Arabiya report claimed that Saudi-led strikes destroyed the airbase along with several arsenals, as well as taking out most of the rebels’ air defenses.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, and Kuwait issued a joint statement saying that they “decided to repel Houthi militias, Al-Qaeda and ISIS (Islamic State) in the country.” The Gulf states said they were responding to a “major threat” to the stability of the region, saying that their cause is to “repel Houthi aggression” in Yemen.
Syria is winning the war and has absolutely no reason to show mercy for opponents that have no intention to show any for it and its people.
February 18, 2015 (Tony Cartalucci – LD) – Curious is the United Nation and NATO’s sudden interest in peace. Both organizations are suing for truces on two separate battlefields, one in Ukraine in Eastern Europe, and another in Syria’s northern city of Aleppo amid a regional conflagration in the Middle East. It is curious because talks of “truces” were completely absent just as recently as 2011, when both organizations, the UN and NATO, backed hordes of terrorists sweeping across Libya, committing abhorrent atrocities including the systematic, genocidal extermination of Libya’s black communities.
There was also the encirclement, intentional starvation, and denial of humanitarian aid, along with the bombardment of Libyan cities like Sirte, which also saw no protests or calls for “ceasefires” by the UN or NATO. In fact, as terrorists enforced blockades on the ground to starve residents to death, NATO bombed the encircled cities relentlessly from the air for weeks. The eventual fall of Sirte, for example, would leave behind an utterly devastate city and a decimated, scattered population. Other cities, like Tawarga, had their entire populations, down to the last resident, either killed or forced to flee.
The Corbett Report
Feb 8, 2015
We all know about the crude pie-plate-on-string UFO hoaxes that have been perpetrated in the past. But what if I were to tell you the greatest UFO hoax of all time is being prepared right now, and it has Rockefeller backing and UN/Vatican/presidential support? Join us this week as we peek under the bluebeam curtain at the great alien invasion false flag.
SHOW NOTES AND MP3: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=13551
Red Ice Radio
Jan 28, 2015
Dr. Eric Karlstrom, emeritus Professor of Geography, California State University, Stanislaus, recently completed a 30-year teaching career. He taught physical and environmental geography courses, as well as courses cross-listed with the Geology department and an honors course. Throughout his career, Dr. Karlstrom has continued his research program in soils and geomorphology as means of reconstructing Quaternary paleoclimates. He is also the author or co-author of many earth science publications. Eric joins us to speak about his extensive research into an investigative series called, Is Crestone/Baca the “Vatican City of the New World Order?” An Expose of the New World Religion, which can be found on his website, 911 New World Order. Eric begins with a brief geographical sketch of the Crestone/Baca region, along with the reasons why he decided to delve into this inquiry. He talks about the radical contingent of environmentalists and Elites living in and connected to the area. He gives us a sketch of the key players in the UN’s global property rights regulations, adopted as soft law by 179 nations in 1992-1993, including Maurice Strong, the man behind Agenda 21. Then, Eric talks about the New Age Religion movement that has jumped on the “sustainability” bandwagon, their use of psychological warfare as a means of promoting depopulation, and the arrogant, chauvinistic mindset of The Chosen Ones. We consider the corruption of culture by the Jewish Elites and their secret societies, New Age religions ruled by Ascended Masters, the use of occult magic, and the controversy of Zion and the system of the Kabbalah. In the second hour, we discuss the New World Order and the creation of a new society out of the ashes of chaos. Eric talks about dangers of Tibetan Buddhism, the perfect religion to transition into the coming government that will take advantage of the “blank mind” of collective consciousness. Further, we get into the corrupt environmental movement, the protocols of Zionism, the Elite “custodians of the planet,” and geoengineering. We end with Eric’s take on the new epidemic of gang stalking, a worldwide program of citizen spying, and reflect on the importance of preserving American culture.
Aug 4, 2014
Alexander Mezyaev (SCF) : In July 2014 the activities of Boko Haram – a terrorist group operating in Nigeria – intensified activities on a broader scale. Skirmishes with the government troops turned into real battles. Terrorist acts became much more frequent and the fighting has gone beyond the state borders. The Boko Haram terrorist group appears to become an international organization.
Boko Haram (1) (usually translated as “Western education is a sin”), is a Salafi militant Islamist organization based in northern Nigeria and influenced by Wahhabi movement. (2)
Formally it was founded in 2009 to periodically stage local terrorist acts and attack Christian shrines. With every passing year their activities were becoming more frequent and well-planned encompassing the whole country. The group abruptly intensified actions including the neighboring Cameroon.
This April Chibok kidnapping took place with over 280 schoolgirls snatched by the militants. The group wanted all its members behind bars to be set free. The government refused. Then the action was followed by a string of attacks against populated areas and police stations. Officials and many civilians lost their lives. In June a blast took place in the port of Lagos, the wave of terror hit the oil-rich shores of the Niger River. The end of July was real hot: terrorist acts became a routine matter. On July 27 – Kaduna bombing with the death toll of 50, on July 30 – at least six people have been killed in a suicide bombing at a college in northern Nigeria’s biggest city, Kano. (3) On July 27 Boko Haram militants attacked the northern Cameroon town of Kolofata and seized several people including the wife of Cameroon’s Vice Prime Minister Amadou Ali. The official was taken away from the place by his guards. The mayor and his family were taken hostage. The clashes with the Cameroon army lasted for a few days…
How do the international community, Africa and Nigeria respond to the disastrous unfolding of the events?
First, the United Nations Security Council has started to react. In 2014 the Council’s chairman has made a number of condemning statements. But there has been no resolution and it makes ask questions. In July the names of Boko Haram leaders (especially Abubakar Shekau) were blacklisted under the U.N. al Qaeda sanctions list. It means the United Nations considers Boko Haram to be part of Al Qaeda.
Second, Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger agreed to provide troops in order to stamp out Boko Haram. With each country contributing 700 troops each the force is strong enough. (4) Finally the United States State Department has listed Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organization. This decision gives publicity to the group serving as a kind of advertisement to attract more recruits.
The internal aspect is related to complicated state system of Nigeria with the population of hundreds of ethnic groups and clans living in 36 states. The structure is the legacy of British rule which had rich experience of drawing dividing (5) and coercively uniting borders to make live together the peoples who had a long history of animosity towards each other. The independent Nigeria has faced the consequences of the British colonial policy a number of times. For instance, Biafra, officially the Republic of Biafra, was a secessionist state in south-eastern Nigeria that existed from 30 May 1967 to 15 January 1970, taking its name from the Bight of Biafra (the Atlantic bay to its south). The inhabitants were mostly the Igbo people who led the secession due to economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions among the various peoples of Nigeria. The creation of the new state that was pushing for recognition was among the causes of the Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Nigerian-Biafran War that took, according to different estimates, the lives of 1-3 million people.
The aspiration for an independent Biafra is still alive. Before his death in late 2013 Chinua Achebe, the world-wide known Nigerian novelist, who was Igbo by nationality, devoted his last book which was called with obvious meaning There Was a Country. The book is in fact a lament for Biafra and the decline of Nigeria, which he relates directly to the Biafran war. It offers a future outlook.
Half of a Yellow Sun is a novel by the Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche. Published in 2006 by Knopf/Anchor, it tells the story of the Biafran War. The author also belongs to the people of Igbo. She wrote about the existence of a special Sun that shines not from the sky but from the banner of Biafra. The book has received many awards, including in Great Britain. It has just been translated into Russian – that’s good news…
The external aspect is to great extent defined by the role of the International Criminal Court which is conducting an official investigation of the Boko Haram activities. Jonathan of Nigeria, the President of Nigeria, is invited as a witness. We believe it to be a grave mistake. Other countries have also faced the situation Nigeria has to tackle today. They have involved the International Criminal Court. For instance, Cote D’Ivoire has invited the Court to make an investigation. Now the President of the country Laurent Gbagbo is in Hague put behind bars. The same thing may be in store for Nigeria. For instance, the recent report by International Criminal Court (ICC) prosecutor Fatou Bensouda says the crimes in Nigeria are committed not only by Boko Haram but also by government troops often in violation of human rights while fighting terrorists. The insinuation is clear, President Goodluck should simulate the fight but he will not be allowed to hold a real victory. The International Criminal Court is an instrument of global governance. Boko Haram and other terrorist organizations have a mission to destabilize Africa to prevent it from leaving behind the economic backwardness.
What is the reason for making the activities of terrorists in Nigeria and in West Africa more vibrant? Many say it’s due to the system of clans. There are three major ethnic groups in Nigeria (6) and a lot of smaller ones. The groups come to power in rotation. The fragile pattern was broken after former President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, Hausa by origin, suddenly died in 2010 (being only 58). As a result then Vice President Jonathan Goodluck (Yoruba) stepped in as an interim President to win the next presidential election. In 2015 the country will hold another presidential election. Goodluck is among the hopefuls. The intensification of terrorist activities could be a way to pressure him into rejecting his office in favor of someone who belongs to the Hausa tribe. There are attempts made to make people believe that a Hausa Muslim could tackle the problem of Boko Haram. (7) The religious and ethnic aspects do play some role but not the decisive one.
It’s worth to note that the terrorist activities intensified at the time of Nigeria becoming the leading economy in Africa (at the start of 2014) leaving behind the main competitor – the economically strong South Africa. It may not suit the plans of those who stand in the way of progress.
The Boko Haram escalated its activities right at the time the situation in Africa started to seriously deteriorate. The regime of global governance has reasons for concern: the Africa’s GDP growth (8) has been 5, 6 % during the recent ten years against 3, 8% in the world. (9) It was only 1, 1% in eurozone. The economic reasons give rise to the new wave of destabilization in Africa.
In 2013 such countries as Mali, the Central African Republic, Guinea-Bissau, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, Somalia, Kenia and some other stares faced great difficulties. No matter that, the growth of Africa’s GDP was 5, 7% by far exceeding the world average of 4, 1%. It means the pressure on Africa will grow including terrorist activities.
In 1984 the book Nigeria on Fire in Russian written by former President of the country Olusegun Obasanjo hit the bookstore shelves in 1984. The book describes the war in Biafra, the operations of federal troops and the aid provided by the Soviet Union. Thirty years have passed. Nigeria is hit by fire again. The fire has spread to other countries and is threatening the whole continent. Though the continent is an intermediate goal, Boko Haram fights to make the whole world a caliphate without any borders.
Related background analysis:
Xinhua News Agency
August 5, 2014
Number of displaced surges due to Ukraine conflict: UNHCR
GENEVA: The deteriorating situation in eastern Ukraine has led to surging numbers of internally-displaced people (IDPs), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said Tuesday.
Addressing a press conference upon his return from Ukraine, UNHCR’s Europe Bureau director Vincent Cochetel said the number of IDPs in the country reached an estimated 117,000 and was increasing by 1,200 people per day in recent weeks.
Among the total displaced population, up to 87 percent were from eastern Ukraine, mainly from Luhansk and Donetsk regions. UNHCR data showed IDPs from the two regions had risen sharply from 2,600 in early June to 102,600 in early August.
The UN refugee agency called on the Ukrainian government to establish a central registration system of IDPs.
Cochetel emphasized the current lack of a uniform system hampered relief efforts, adding that it was important for Ukrainian authorities to prepare for winter since most of the current shelters were not suitable for the colder months.
UNHCR estimates as additional 730,000 Ukrainians have crossed the border into Russia since the beginning of the conflict.
Xinhua News Agency
August 5, 2014
UN says 285,000 displaced in Ukraine crisis
KIEV: Almost 285,000 people have fled Ukraine’s restive areas as of early August, up 55,000 from the number of mid-July, according to a UN report obtained here on Tuesday.
Among the affected population are people who have been displaced from southern Crimean peninsula, Lugansk and Donetsk regions in the eastern part of the country, according to the document released by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Every day, around 1,000 people are leaving the conflict areas and 117,000 refugees have found shelters in calm Ukrainian regions since the turmoil in the eastern European country began in February, it said.
Meanwhile, about 168,000 asylum seekers had crossed the border into Russia and requested to obtain refugee status there, the report said.
According to another UN report, at least 1,129 people have been killed and 3,442 others wounded in the Ukraine crisis as of July 26.
On Sunday Aug 8th 2004, the Canadian Association of Veterans obtained funding to put up and display three statues in Memorial Park in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The statues are located near the corner of Osborne St. N and Memorial Blvd, north of Memorial Park. It is located north of the Masonic Legislative building as well.
It is dedicated to Peacekeepers who have lost their lives in the service of the country of Canada since the signing of the United Nations Charter on Oct 24th 1945.
The statue is called Peacekeepers Cairn. Cairn is defined as a heap of stones set up as a landmark, monument, tombstone, etc.
The three pillars are said to represent the Army, Navy, Air Force (and supposedly also the RCMP).
The pillar on the left is 10 feet tall, has a 45 degree beveled top to show a symbol from the front of a Peacekeeping medal depicting three soldiers. One soldier is an unarmed United Nations Military Observer, holding a pair of binoculars. A second soldier, a woman, shoulders a radio, while the third stands guard with a rifle. Above them flies a dove, the international symbol of peace. This side of the medal also bears the inscriptions PEACEKEEPING and SERVICE DE LA PAIX (translated to service out of peace), together with two maple leafs. The word“PAST” is engraved vertically into the front.
The center pillar is 12 feet tall with a 45 degree beveled top to show the United Nations symbol engraved into the stone. The symbol of the words UN on the top of a map of the world with what I construe as, it consits of longitude and latitude lines. The logo has a border of leaves, 7 on the left and 6 on the right. The word “PRESENT” is engraved into the pillar vertically.
The pillar to the right of center statue is 8 feet tall with the same bevel as the others and showing the Peacekeeping medal, reversed side. The medal’s reverse shows the cipher of Her Majesty the Queen on a maple leaf surrounded by two sprigs of laurel and the word CANADA. The word “FUTURE” engraved vertically into the front of the pillar.
Click HERE for the source (description of symbolism of peace medal).
So in essence the cairn depicts the Canadian Army’s past, present and future is aligned with UN peacekeeping missions and that the Canadian Armed Forces is essentially an army for the British Monarchy. After all that should come as no surprise to civilians who know section 2 of the Criminal Code of Canada which defines the “Canadian Forces” as the armed forces of Her Majesty
Are UN peacekeeping missions really about peacekeeping?
Canada has been in over 30 major peacekeeping missions since 1956 but are the peacekeeping missions all about perpetuating peace? It’s hard to tell unless one gets information first hand from a Canadian soldier or a veteran that’s been on a UN peacekeeping mission. The Canadian Awareness Network had a private interview with a veteran who was deployed to Cyprus and Bosnia under a UN peacekeeping mission. Here’s a quote of what he has to say about UN peacekeeping missions,he would like to remain anonymous:
“I have done a couple peacekeeping missions,I did Cyprus in the middle east. That was more of a peacekeeping mission there for sure. But then we go to Bosnia thinking it’s the same type of deal like Cyprus but it wasn’t.” He was there to give food to civilians.
He then told me in Cyprus there was very little combat saying, “in the middle east… it was one killing in the whole 7 or 8 months that you were there where in Bosnia there were peacekeepers getting shot at everyday… United Nations said it was peacekeeping but you know in the eyes of the soldiers it was definitely far from that. From what they’re trying tell the media and what it actually was to me were two different things.” He describes it to be missions that involve combat of defense He said many soldiers killed their selves from the trauma’s they endure.
An article from OpenCanada.org goes into detail how UN peacekeeping mission can be full out war below:
Steve Saideman | June 13, 2012 OpenCanada.org
“…Peacekeeping missions have always risked violence, and we will continue to see violence in the future, even if less than before. The key factor that needs to be considered, which is frequently ignored, is this: When it comes to peacekeeping efforts, the enemy forces have a say in how things play out – and theirs is the deciding vote.
What does this mean? In any conflict that peacekeepers might enter, there are multiple sides and usually more than one set of actors hostile to the accord. (After all, if an agreement produced consensus, there would be little need for outsiders to intervene.) These “spoilers,” as they are known, may or may not resort to violence, but the threat that they may do so means that the outside interveners must be prepared to be violent themselves. This is basic deterrence logic: You need to be able to threaten to impose costs to deter a potential aggressor, AND you need to use force if deterrence breaks down.
The dramatic failure of the UN mission in Rwanda as the genocide started was partly due to the weakness of the UN peacekeeping effort. The genocidaires chose to be violent, voting for war against the rest of Rwanda. They started it off by killing a number of peacekeepers. As the UN mission was poorly equipped, it did not defend itself, nor did it protect anyone else. Indeed, the lesson drawn by potential spoilers from Mogadishu and Rwanda is this: Start by killing the peacekeepers, who may then flee.
Those nostalgic of past peacekeeping forget the violence the Canadians not only faced in such circumstances, but also deployed. In Croatia, the Canadians battled with the Croatian army, which was engaged in war crimes against the Serb populace. This was the biggest battle Canada fought between the wars in Korea and Afghanistan. History suggests, then, that peacekeeping has always been a violent enterprise, and it is probably more so these days, as spoilers learn from Somalia and Rwanda. “
Do Canadian soldiers like being involved in UN peacekeeping missions?
An article from the Globe and Mail answers the question below:
Globe & Mail
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Despite high-minded policy statements and public perception, Canada’s global role, Michael Valpy reports
It’s so hard to square mythology with reality. While 70 per cent of Canadians consider military peacekeeping a defining characteristic of their country, Canada has turned down so many United Nations’ requests to join peacekeeping missions during the past decade that the UN has stopped asking.
In 1991, Canada contributed more than 10 per cent of all peacekeeping troops to the UN. Sixteen years later, its contribution is less than 0.1 per cent.
On this month’s fifth anniversary of Canadian troops being sent to Afghanistan and one year after assuming responsibility for the counterinsurgency campaign — a war by any other name — in Kandahar province, one of the country’s biggest unanswered questions is: What is Canadian military policy? It’s certainly not to be the global leader in peacekeeping the country once was.
Little more than a year ago, Colonel Michael Hanrahan, the Canadian Armed Forces’ top expert on peacekeeping, was offered the job as chief of staff of the UN’s Department of Peacekeeping Operations. His Ottawa superiors nixed the idea. There is, in fact, not a single Canadian officer in the UN’s peacekeeping headquarters.
“In view of the multiple security challenges we now confront, we should be extremely skeptical about arguments that the days of peacekeeping are over and our armed forces are now only in the business of fighting insurgents and targeting terrorists.”[quote from Fen Hampson, director of the Norman Paterson School]
Yet several academics who study Canadian military and foreign policy see patterns of anti-UN bias among senior army officers and a preference for operating beside the United States. The anti-UN bias comes from their experience in UN peacekeeping missions of the past, and their U.S. preference is based on top-grade logistics and tactical support that the U.S. military can offer their own troops.
One Canadian academic, who asked to speak anonymously because he works for the military, said he had been told confidently by a senior army officer that Canadian troops would never take part in another UN-led operation. But Prof. Roland Paris, a specialist in international security at the University of Ottawa, is less convinced that Canada is deliberately turning away from the UN. He cites previous cycles of troughs in Canada’s peacekeeping involvement.
In any event, the patterns seen by Mr. Heinbecker, now director of the Centre for Global Relations, Governance and Policy at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., suggest traditional UN peacekeeping operations are a thing of the past, that they have become more akin to the mission in Afghanistan.
“They are almost all complex missions now. They involve combat. Very often the UN is expected to get involved before the fighting is over….”
As the above article mentioned, Canadian armed forces have slowly declined in participating in UN peacekeeping missions. But does that mean they are not under UN control? The article above also made mention that Canadian army prefers to work along side of the US army. Ultimately the US army is under full control of the UN. U.S Defense Secretary Leon Panetta testified and stated that the UN and NATO have supreme authority over the actions of the U.S military, reported by Infowars in 2012.
So does the UN peacekeeping cairn in Winnipeg hold a little bit of truth of Canada still participating with the UN?
In one way or another, yes.
Is the UN all about peacekeeping? No!
Islam Karimov, the Uzbek dictator who likes to boil people alive was given a “Cultural Diversity” awarded by the UN. The UN has declared Fidel Castro, the longtime Communist dictator of Cuba, the “World Hero of Solidarity”. Castro killed thousands and thousands of people during his rule, torturing some to death . Even way earlier in history 26.3 million Chinese died between 1949-1965 under the regime of Moa Zedong’s red China. In 1971 the United Nations General Assembly voted to allow Mao Zedong’s red China into the UN.
The UN was established in 1942 after the second world war by international bankers and political world leaders. The UN is the forefront to establish a “new world order” one world government under UN control, under the guise of protecting human rights and doing peacekeeping. The term “new world order” was first politically used and publicly introduced by former U.S President George H. W. Bush at the United Nations General Assembly in 1991.
Jul 20, 2014
by Sara Hussein, Mai Yaghi
Gaza City (Palestinian Territories) (AFP) – At least 100 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers were killed on Sunday with Hamas claiming it had captured another, as Israel ramped up a major military offensive in Gaza.
The Palestinian president, meanwhile, 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 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.
“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.
Late Sunday, 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 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.
A spokeswoman for the Israeli military said they were aware of the claim and were investigating.
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 arranged a brief ceasefire that allowed paramedics to evacuate some of the dead and wounded before hostilities resumed.
Inside Shejaiya, there were hellish scenes of carnage and chaos as a convoy of ambulances moved in, an AFP correspondent said.
Entire buildings were collapsed on themselves or strewn into the streets, while others were ablaze, sending pillars of dark smoke skywards.
[related video: The Gaza Atrocities Are Nothing New – Morris]