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Israel, Hamas defy truce calls on Gaza bloodiest day

Israeli soldiers on Merkava tanks in an army deployment area near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip on July 12, 2014The world implored Israel and Hamas to end hostilities Saturday, but the violence escalated with the toll in Israeli strikes rising to 157 and Gaza militants firing more rocket salvos. Both sides have dismissed calls for a truce, and Israel continued to build up troops along the Gaza border ahead of a possible ground invasion, warning Palestinians in northern Gaza to evacuate their homes. With the Palestinian death toll at 157, and with no Israelis killed, the UN Security Council unanimously urged Israel and Hamas to respect “international humanitarian laws” and stop the loss of life.

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