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Missile strikes and explosions in Gaza, as seen from spaceAlexander Gerst via Twitter

The Israel-Gaza conflict is now visible from space

‘My saddest photo yet’: Astronaut Alexander Gerst snapped these images from the International Space Station

How's this for depressing news of the day? The Israel-Gaza conflict has escalated so badly that astronauts can now see it from space

German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted photographs of the troubled region last night from the International Space Station, where he is spending six months on a European Space Agency mission. Snapped from a vantage point of 220 miles above the Earth, Gerst's images show the criss-crossing rocket fire and explosions across Gaza.

In one tweet, he describes a photograph as his "saddest photo yet":

Come be an astronaut, they said. Come observe the beauty of Earth, the movement of the stars and – oh yeah, human beings getting ripped apart by missile strikes. 

The Gaza conflict has claimed the lives of 712 Palestinians, including at least 132 children killed by the Israeli bombardment. Israel Defence Forces (IDF) say that three more soldiers have been killed, taking their total military losses to 32.

The United Nations appealed on Sunday for an immediate ceasefire, and yesterday voted to open an investigation into potential Israeli war crimes during the current conflict.