After an Israeli airstrike killed eight civilians, including three children on Tuesday, the UN Envoy to the Middle East issued a statement condemning the attack, and calling on Israel to cease its strikes on densely populated areas in Gaza.The statement issued by Envoy Robert Serry said, “Serry condemns the killing of three Palestinian children and their uncle and the wounding of thirteen other civilians by an Israeli tank shell in the Gaza Strip earlier today. Israeli firing into densely populated areas is extremely dangerous and appalling incidents such as today’s raise serious questions.”

Serry also condemned the firing of shells by Palestinian resistance fighters, who shot 42 shells from Gaza into Israel over the weekend. Israeli officials claimed that two Israelis were lightly injured by the shells, most of which landed in deserted areas in the Negev desert.

Israeli forces frequently drop missiles into crowded Palestinian neighborhoods in the Gaza Strip. Such bombings have killed over 1500 Palestinians, 80% of whom are civilians (according to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem), in the last two years. Palestinian fighters from Gaza have killed 9 Israeli soldiers and 4 Israeli civilians in the same time period.

The UN envoy urged ‘an urgent halt to all acts of violence and full respect of international humanitarian law by all parties before more civilian lives are lost.’