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Palestinian president asks UN for help with 'Israeli aggression' in Gaza

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the United Nations to help stop the “Israeli aggression” in Gaza, state media reported Monday.

In a call with U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Abbas reportedly asked the U.N. to “immediately intervene” to stop the ongoing “Israeli aggression,” Palestinian news agency WAFA reported Monday night.

Abbas urged Guterres and the U.N. to “carry out its duties recognized by international legitimacy and provide international protection for the Palestinian people,” WAFA reported.

Abbas’s request comes after Israel’s defense minister ordered a “complete siege” on the Gaza Strip as Israel ramps up its counteroffensive against Palestinian militant group Hamas, which launched a deadly incursion into Israel over the weekend.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant vowed to halt the supply of food, electricity and water to Gaza, saying in a video message on Monday that the nation is at war with “human animals.”

According to WAFA, Abbas also reiterated his argument that the only solution to the escalation in the region includes ending the Israeli occupation of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital.

Guterres emphasized the U.N. is trying to provide humanitarian relief aid to those in the Gaza Strip and is in contact with all concerned international parties to stop the escalation of the conflict, WAFA reported.

Hamas launched a multi-pronged surprise attack against Israel over the weekend, invading multiple Israeli towns by land, sea and air in addition to launching a barrage of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly declared the country at war against Hamas, warning of a “long and difficult war.” In the hours and days that followed, Israeli forces have ramped up retaliatory efforts in Gaza, vowing to destroy the militant group and forcefully avenge the attacks.

Israeli forces and authorities have ordered the evacuations of several towns near the Gaza Strip as it launches airstrikes in the region.

The death toll rose on Monday to around 1,600 people from both sides, including 900 people in Israel and over 680 in Gaza.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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