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UN Security Council opens urgent talks on Gaza

The UN Security Council on Sunday opened urgent talks on the escalating violence in Gaza to consider ways of stepping up ceasefire efforts.

UNITED NATIONS: The UN Security Council on Sunday opened urgent talks on the escalating violence in Gaza to consider ways of stepping up ceasefire efforts.

The 15-member Council met as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was holding talks with leaders in the region amid a spike in violence that left more than 100 Palestinians dead in a single day.

"We have to know from the secretary-general the result of his efforts, his travels and whether there is any hope of moving forward to a ceasefire," said French Ambassador Gerard Araud as he headed into the meeting.

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas had called for the urgent talks, saying the "situation is intolerable" in Gaza and describing the Israeli attacks as "crimes against humanity."

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