Gaza Death Toll Surpasses 500, UN Calls for Truce

A Palestinian woman cries as she flees from the Al Shejaeiya neighbourhood, during an Israeli military operation in the east Gaza City, 20 July 2014. Photo by EPA/BGNES

At least 512 Palestinians have died and more than 3000 have been injured since the start of Israel's offensive in the Gaza strip earlier in July.

The data from Hamas-controlled Gaza's Health Ministry came as the UN Security Council urged a ceasefire between the Israeli army and Palestinian militants.

Israelis who have lost their lives within the same period are 20, 18 of them soldiers.

Most of the Israeli death toll came after Thursday night, when Tel Aviv began a ground raid on the strip.

UN estimates reveal 83 695 people have been displaced in Gaza as a result of the events, and also says the figure is constantly rising.

The number of dead is also likely to rise as fighting is now taking place in densely populated urban areas.

The UN Security Council convened on Sunday at the request of Jordan, which had reportedly drafted a resolution on the conflict, as the BBC reports.

UNSC's meeting ended with a call for "an immediate cessation of hostilities".

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was quoted by Al-Jazeera as calling the shelling on Gaza on Sunday, one of the bloodiest days so far, an "atrocious action".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is however adamant that the operation targeting Gaza will continue as much as his country needs to.

On Monday, reports emerged that Shaul Aron, a soldier from the Israeli Defense Forces, had been captured by Al-Qassam, the armed wing of Hamas.

Tel Aviv has denied the information.

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