World Bulletin / News Desk
The Grand Imam of Egypt's Al-Azhar, the highest seat of learning in the Muslim world, denounced an ongoing Israeli onslaught in the Gaza Strip as an "act of genocide against the armless Palestinian people".
In a Saturday statement, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb condemned Israel's "heinous crimes" in the Gaza Strip and urged the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation as well as the United Nations to "immediately act to stop this aggression."
At least 122 Palestinians have been killed and 924 others injured since late Monday when Israel launched "Operation Protective Edge" in the Gaza Strip, home to over 1.8 million Palestinians.
Since then, Israeli warplanes have been pounding the Gaza Strip with hundreds of airstrikes as ground troops remain amassed on the Strip's borders in advance of a possible ground assault.
Gaza-based resistance factions, for their part, have continued to fire low-yield rockets into Israel in response to ongoing Israeli airstrikes.
No Israeli fatalities have been reported thus far, with Israel's anti-missile defense systems intercepting numerous Gaza rockets, some of which have reached Tel Aviv.
The United Nations Human Rights Council Chief Navi Pillay said in a statement on Friday said Israel might be violating international human rights doctrines in its Gaza operation, based on "deeply disturbing reports" that many of the casualties are civilians, including children, who have been killed in airstrikes on residential homes.
"Protective Edge" is Israel's third major operation in the Gaza Strip – home to some 1.8 million Palestinians – within six years. In 2008/09, around 1500 Palestinians were killed over three weeks of Israeli airstrikes and ground incursions.
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