Last updated: 8 July, 2014

Abbas demands Israel halt Gaza raids immediately

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Tuesday demanded Israel immediately halt its latest offensive against Gaza following a night of air strikes and militant rocket fire on the Israeli south.

“Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas demanded Israel immediately stop its escalation and the raids on Gaza,” said a statement from his office published shortly after midnight (2100 GMT) by the official WAFA news agency.

He also asked the international community “to immediately intervene to halt this dangerous escalation which would lead the region to more destruction and instability.”

Abbas said the Palestinian leadership was making “intensive and urgent calls” to many Arab leaders in the hope of exerting pressure on Israel to deescalate the situation.