Charities urge end to Gaza violence
A group of 34 charities and other non-governmental organisations signed a statement Friday urging an end to the deadly conflict between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas.
The statement was signed by groups including ActionAid, CARE, Oxfam and Save the Children and urged the international community to step up efforts to find a lasting solution to disputes in the region.
"Military actions by all parties must stop," the statement said.
"Since 2009, history has shown that military operations have failed to bring peace and security for people in Gaza and in Israel.
"Over the years we have repeatedly called for ceasefires and for all sides to protect civilians from harm.
"Sadly, these ceasefires have not lasted and we have had to revert back to life-saving relief and emergency programmes, aiding innocent people to cope with the trauma, and rebuilding Gaza time and time again."
A total of 100 Palestinians have been killed in four days of Israeli air bombardments on Gaza, according to the territory's health ministry.
So far, no-one in Israel has been killed, but a man in his 50s was injured after a Gaza rocket struck a petrol station in the southern port city of Ashdod on Friday, causing a huge explosion and major fire, medics said.
© 2014 AFP