UNITED NATIONS -- The UN Security Council met late on Saturday evening to discuss the situation in Gaza after over 230 people were killed in Israeli air strikes launched in response to rocket and mortar fire by Gaza militants against Israel.
Envoys of the 15-nation council were discussing behind closed doors what diplomats said was a Russian-drafted statement calling for a halt to Israeli military operations in Gaza and as well as to rocket attacks upon Israel.
Diplomats said the meeting had been convened at the request of Libya, the only Arab country on the council.
It was not immediately clear whether the council would reach the consensus on the text needed for the statement to be adopted.
Earlier, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for an immediate halt to the violence in the Hamas-ruled Gaza strip and in southern Israel.
UN officials said Ban had telephoned Israeli, Palestinian and other leaders to seek an end to the violence.