The UN Security Council has called for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza after a bloody weekend that saw the casualties of the conflict pass 500, with over 80,000 people displaced.

Over 500 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed since Israel began Operation Defensive Edge two weeks ago, which it claims is to stop rockets being fired over the border into Israel and to destroy tunnels in and out of the heavily populated region.

20 Israelis, including 18 soldiers, have died in the conflict.

More than 100 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers were killed on Sunday as Israel continued to bomb a number of areas and ground forces moved further into Gaza.

UN Secretary general Ban Ki-moon described Israel’s two-day aerial bombardment of Shejaiya, which has left at least 60 people dead, as “an atrocious action”, while Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called called it “a massacre”.

However, despite calls from Jordan to agree on a strongly worded resolution against the violence, the Security Council issued a statement calling for “an immediate cessation of hostilities”.

Despite international concerns, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to continue operations “as much as we need to”.

Twenty Palestinians have been killed in strikes so far on Monday, according to Gaza’s health ministry.


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