Speed Reads

foreign affairs

U.N. Security Council calls for Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire

All 15 of the United Nations' Security Council members approved a statement released today calling for a "de-escalation, restoration of calm and a resumption of Mideast peace talks," The Associated Press reports.

The statement, while not legally binding, marked the first response from the U.N.'s most powerful body in regard to Israel's ongoing campaign against the Gaza Strip's Hamas rulers. Israel's military claims to have hit more than 1,100 targets in the five-day-long operation, including Hamas-controlled rocket-launchers, along with facilities storing a variety of other weapons. A Gaza Health Ministry spokesman puts the death toll so far at 135, and the U.N. has said as many as three-quarters of those killed may have been civilians.

The Security Council's statement called for "respect for international humanitarian law, including the protection of civilians," on both sides of the conflict.