Israeli strikes on Gaza, rocket fire, break lull

PETER ENAV KARIN LAUB Associated Press Published:

JERUSALEM -- Israeli jets pounded three Hamas sites in Gaza today after a rocket was launched at Israel, disrupting a relative lull in the war-torn territory at the start of a major Muslim holiday.

The strikes followed an almost 12-hour pause in fighting and came as international efforts intensified to end the three-week conflict between Israel and Hamas. The UN called for an "immediate" cease-fire.

Muslims began celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday today, marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, but there was fear and mourning instead of holiday cheer in the Gaza Strip.

In New York, an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council called for "an immediate and unconditional humanitarian cease-fire."

And while it was the council's strongest statement yet on the conflict that has already killed 1,030 Palestinians, 43 Israeli soldiers and three civilians on the Israeli side, it was not a resolution and therefore not binding.

Safety scandal: A U.S. meat supplier says a Chinese unit embroiled in a safety scandal has fallen short of its requirements for maintaining high standards. The president of OSI Group, David McDonald, said today an investigation of complaints that its China unit, Husi Food, sold expired beef and chicken still is underway. Restaurants including McDonald's and KFC stopped using meat supplied by Husi after a Shanghai TV station reported last week the company repackaged and sold expired meat.

Cross removed: Hundreds of police in China took down a church's cross today in a city known as "China's Jerusalem" for its many houses of worship amid a crackdown on church buildings in a coastal region where thousands of people are embracing Christianity. Evangelist Qu Linuo said he and about 200 others had rushed to the Longgang Huai En Church in the eastern city of Wenzhou to protect the building but peacefully made way for the police, who used a crane to remove the 10-foot-tall red cross from its steeple.

Pope: 'Never more war': Pope Francis is marking the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I with an impassioned plea for people to "not repeat the mistakes of the past," urging them to embrace dialogue to overcome conflicts. Francis cited current warfare between Israelis and Palestinians, as well as in Iraq and in Ukraine. He said in St. Peter's Square Sunday that he was thinking of children -- killed, maimed or orphaned by war -- who "for toys, have the debris of war." "I beg you, stop. I ask you with all my heart," Francis said. "Everything is lost with war, nothing is lost with peace. Never more war."

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.