Middle East

EU urges return to Gaza ceasefire

Palestinians walk through rubble from a building that police said was destroyed by an Israeli air strike, in the Burij refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip August 1, 2014. REUTERS/Finbarr O'Reilly

BRUSSELS: The European Union said Friday it was "absolutely necessary" to restore a ceasefire in Gaza shattered only hours after it began.

Maja Kocijancic, a spokeswoman for EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, said the 28-nation bloc regretted the breakdown in the fragile 72-hour truce called to assist civilians.

"We believe it is absolutely necessary for a cease-fire to be put in place, to be respected and to put an end to the loss of civilian lives," she said.

Intensive Israeli shelling killed at least 27 people and wounded more than 150 in southern Gaza, medics said Friday.

AFP correspondents said the artillery barrage of the southern city of Rafah was ongoing, preventing medics from recovering the dead and wounded, after the army said Gaza militants had resumed rocket fire against Israel.





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