TEL AVIV/UNITED NATIONS (AFP) - UN chief Ban Ki-moon led international protests Thursday describing the Palestinian death toll as "unbearable" as Israeli airstrikes set hospitals, media and UN buildings ablaze. "I have conveyed my strong protest and outrage and demanded a full explanation from the defence minister and foreign minister," Ban told reporters in Tel Aviv after the strike on a UN compound in Gaza. "The number of casualties has reached an unbearable point," said Ban, who is due to meet Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert later Thursday. France also joined the UN chief to denounce the latest attacks. "We condemn in the strongest terms the bombings this morning by the Israeli army of several hospitals and a building housing international media in Gaza city," said French Foreign Ministry spokesman Eric Chevallier. Chevallier also condemned the attack on the UN building. Meanwhile, Israel was roundly condemned and accused of flouting international law at the UN General Assembly session for its deadly military assault on the Gaza Strip, including strikes on hospitals, media and UN buildings. The emergency meeting, requested by the 118-member UN member states making up the non-aligned movement, got under way after an Israeli bid to block it on procedural grounds was dismissed. "Gaza is ablaze. It has been turned into a burning hell," said the Assembly President, Nicaragua's Miguel d'Escoto Brockmann. Speaker after speaker blasted the latest Israeli attacks. D'Escoto deplored the fact that the Israeli offensive was continuing despite a ceasefire call issued by the powerful 15-member Security Council last week. "It seems to me ironic that Israel, a state that more than any other owes its very existence to a (1948) General Assembly resolution, should be so disdainful of United Nations resolutions," D'Escoto noted. D'Escoto urged the assembly to agree on a non-binding resolution reflecting "the urgency of our commitment to end this slaughter" in Gaza. Malaysia's UN Ambassador Hamidon Ali said the proposed resolution should call for a ceasefire, the immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, an end to the Israeli blockade of the Palestinian enclave and allowing humanitarian aid to reach victims of the conflict. "It must also call for the establishment of a tribunal to investigate and to prosecute those responsible for the war crimes and crimes against humanity," the Malaysian envoy said. "Finally, sanctions must be imposed for non-compliance." The assembly session could run though Friday. Palestinian UN observer Ryad Mansour meanwhile called for an independent investigation of Israel's "grave breaches and systematic violations of international law." In Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed shock at the humanitarian situation in Gaza. She stressed the need to stop arms smuggling into the Gaza strip. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown also condemned the Israeli shelling of the UN's compound as "indefensible" and "unacceptable". Greece strongly protested to Israel after its navy turned back a boat chartered by Greek activists to take medical aid to the Gaza Strip, the Foreign Ministry said. In the French city of Strasbourg, the European Parliament denounced the Israeli blockade preventing aid from arriving in Gaza. "The embargo on the Gaza Strip represents collective punishment in contravention of international humanitarian law," deputies agreed in a parliamentary resolution adopted with no dissenting hands. The parliament expressed "its shock at the suffering of the civilian population in Gaza" and "strongly deplores, in particular, the fact that civilian and UN targets have been hit during the (Israeli) attacks." EU Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Louis Michel said: "It is unacceptable that the UN headquarters in Gaza has been struck by Israeli artillery fire." The statement added: "I am deeply shocked and dismayed to learn of this incident." Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused some Arab and Islamic states of complicity in what he described as the "genocide" being carried out by the Israelis against Palestinians in Gaza. "Unfortunately, some states in the Arab and Islamic region tolerate or support this rare genocide with silence or a smile of satisfaction," Ahmadinejad said in a letter to Saudi King Abdullah. Ahmadinejad urged the king to "break the silence over this obvious atrocity and killing of your own children," Ahmadinejad said in the letter, which was posted on his website. Later addressing a Press conference, Ahmadinejad called on Arab and Islamic nations to cut trade relations with Israel. Jewish community leaders in Morocco denounced the human cost of the Israeli military operation.