The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross on Saturday called on all sides to act to halt the "intolerable" human suffering of civilians in the Gaza Strip.
"This is a catastrophic failing that the world must not tolerate," said Mirjana Spoljaric, as Israel declared its war on Hamas had "entered a new phase" with its massive bombardment of Gaza.
"I am shocked by the intolerable level of human suffering and urge the parties to the conflict to de-escalate now," she said.
"The tragic loss of so many civilian lives is deplorable."
"It is unacceptable that civilians have no safe place to go in Gaza amid the massive bombardments, and with a military siege in place there is also no adequate humanitarian response currently possible."
Spoljaric was speaking hours after UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sharply criticised the "unprecedented escalation" of bombardments on Gaza, and called for an "immediate" ceasefire.
The Israeli army on Saturday warned residents of Gaza City, in the north of Gaza, that the area was now a "battlefield", ordering them to "evacuate immediately" to the south.
SOURCE: THE NEW ARAB