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Published: Monday July 21, 2014 MYT 5:30:02 AM
Updated: Monday July 21, 2014 MYT 5:31:04 AM

U.N. Security Council to meet on Sunday on Gaza - diplomats

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council will hold an emergency meeting on Sunday night, said diplomats, to discuss almost two weeks of fighting between Israel and the Islamist Hamas group in the Palestinian Gaza Strip that has cost more than 400 lives.

Jordan requested the meeting after more than 60 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers were killed as Israel shelled Gaza's Shejaia neighbourhood and battled militants in the bloodiest fighting in the 13-day offensive.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who is in the Middle East in a bid to help broker a ceasefire, condemned on Sunday as an "atrocious action" the killings in Shejaia and called for an immediate end to the fighting.

Ban was in Qatar on Sunday and is also due to visit Cairo, Jerusalem and Ramallah in the West Bank.

The Security Council on July 12 called for a ceasefire between Palestinians and Israelis and expressed serious concern about the welfare and protection of civilians on both sides. The United States, a close Israeli ally, agreed to the statement after the Arab Group threatened to push for a resolution.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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