Ryad Mansour, a Palestinian UN observer, called the council statement "a small step in the right direction" and expressed hope that "we can build on it for a larger involvement" of the council in the situation.
He said he would have preferred a call by the council for a ceasefire in Gaza and the West Bank, an end to Israeli air strikes and the dispatch of UN observers to monitor the ceasefire.
"Hamas is trying to draw us [Israel] into their civil war"
Zafon, Beersheva, Israel
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Dan Gillerman, Israel's UN ambassador, reiterated that Israeli attacks against fighters in Gaza and the West Bank would stop only when the Palestinian leadership secures an end to rocket firing into Israel.
Khaled Meshaal, Hamas' political chief, has said that his group will continue attacks despite Israel's air strikes.
Also on Wednesday, G8 foreign ministers, meeting in Potsdam, Germany, urged Palestinian leaders to stop fighters from firing rockets on Israel and urged the Israelis to show restraint in their response.
"We call on the Palestinian leadership to do everything in its power to end the firing of rockets into Israeli territory," they said in the German version of the final communique.
|Abbas says rocket attacks into Sderot |
and other Israeli towns must stop [AFP]
They also called for Israel to "show restraint in its reaction to these attacks and to refrain from any measures which are not in accordance with international law".
The escalating bloodshed in Gaza, which has included fierce factional fighting between Hamas and Fatah, has threatened to torpedo efforts to revive the Israel-Palestinian peace process.
Two members of Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, were killed early on Wednesday in an Israeli air strike on the east Jabalya refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, Palestinian medical sources reported.
An Israeli military spokesman confirmed that aircraft had struck "armed terrorists in the Jabalya camp" but provided no further details.
A number of people have been injured.
Later in the day, two more Palestinians were killed and two others wounded when a car exploded in the West Bank city of Nablus, witnesses and hospital officials said.
They said the casualties were men in their 20s. Their identities were not immediately known.
Nearly 250 rockets have been launched at Israel since May 15, which have killed two civilians and wounded 20 others, the Israeli army said.
Abbas said: "Any assault or air raid against us [after ceasing rocket-fire] becomes unjustified for them and in the eyes of the international community."