UK & World News

  • 24 July 2014, 11:54

Gaza Conflict From Space In 'Saddest Photo'

An astronaut has posted a picture from the International Space Station while flying over Gaza and Israel, showing the worsening crisis which has left more than 700 people dead.

German flight engineer Alexander Gerst captured the scene from 220 miles above the Earth as rockets and explosions lit up the night sky with wispy yellow light.

His photo quickly went viral on the internet as he tweeted the message: "My saddest photo yet. From #ISS we can actually see explosions and rockets flying over #Gaza & #Israel."

Tens of thousands around the world shared the image as international pressure grows to stop the bloodshed in Gaza.

The UN Human Rights Council says there is a "strong possibility" Israel is guilty of war crimes in Gaza, where some 715 Palestinians, including 165 children, have died in the fighting.

It also condemned the indiscriminate firing of rockets and mortars by the Islamist movement Hamas into Israel, where 34 lives have been lost.

The continued fighting has led to the cancellation of many flights into Tel Aviv and has sparked protests and claims of growing anti-Semitism around the world.

Thousands of protesters - many shouting slogans such as "Israel killer" - held demonstrations in the French cities of Paris, Lyon, Toulouse, Lille and Reims on Wednesday.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve warned activists that anyone caught shouting "Death to the Jews!" or burning an Israeli flag would be arrested.

After the marches, 16 people were held in the Jewish quarter of Paris' Marais district after attempting to break into a restaurant while yelling "anti-Semitic insults," a police source said.

Other protests have also taken place outside the Israeli embassy in London.

Britain's Jewish community has seen a doubling of anti-Semitic incidents over the last few weeks, according to the Jewish Community Trust.

It has issued an advisory notice to all UK Jewish venues, warning that security procedures should be "rigorously followed".

In Austria, Israeli football team Maccabi Haifa's game against French side Lille had to be stopped after pro-Palestinian protesters stormed the pitch and attacked the Maccabi players.

Germany has condemned anti-Semitic chants and threats heard at some protests in the country.

A spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel reassured the Jewish community they are safe and said the government "will continue to campaign for the security of Jewish citizens".

Yakov Hadas-Handelsman, the Israeli ambassador to Germany, said: "They pursue the Jews in the streets of Berlin ... as if we were in 1938."