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UN Security Council holds meeting on Gaza situation, demands civilian protection

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council has concluded an emergency session on the worsening situation in Gaza expressing “serious concern” about the rising civilian death toll and demanding an immediate end to the fighting.

The council met late Sunday at the request of Jordan, which proposed a more strongly worded draft resolution for consideration.

The first major ground battle in two weeks of Israel-Hamas fighting on Sunday killed at least 65 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers and forced thousands of terrified Palestinian civilians to flee their neighborhoods.

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon has called Israel’s latest incursion “atrocious,” and says it must do far more to protect civilians.

Jordan’s draft resolution, obtained by The Associated Press, expressed “grave concern” at the high number of civilians killed in Gaza, including children, and called for an immediate cease-fire, “including the withdrawal of Israeli occupying forces from the Gaza Strip.

But Jordan’s proposed resolution was not discussed.