Christian Aid urges 'maximum restraint' in Gaza

A Palestinian man sits in the rubble of a destroyed house after an Israeli airstrike in the Jabaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza StripAP

As Israel's bombardment of Gaza enters a fifth day, Christian Aid is calling for all sides to exercise maximum restraint and protect civilian life.

The aid agency said it was "deeply concerned" about the threat to civilian life after violence intensified between Israel and the Hamas-governed Gaza Strip last week.

The fighting is set to escalate further after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that Israel was ready to "significantly expand" its operation in Gaza.

Israel said it had 75,000 reservists on standby.

According to the BBC, Gaza health officials say at least 50 Palestinians have been killed since fighting broke out on Wednesday.

Christian Aid is urging Israel and Palestine to uphold international law and ensure that civilian life is protected.

William Bell, Christian Aid's advocacy officer for Israel and the Palestinians is in Jerusalem.

He said: "At some stage the two sides will need to talk and they should do so as soon as possible in order to avoid further loss of life.

"Civilians on both sides are paying the price for the lack of meaningful engagement to find a viable peace."

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