Israel has rebuffed calls by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, for a ceasefire under which Gaza fighters would halt cross-border rocket attacks and Israel would stop its bombing campaign in the coastal strip.

   

Hamas, which formed a unity government with Abbas's Fatah faction two months ago, says any ceasefire must include an immediate end to all Israeli attacks in both Gaza and the occupied West Bank - a demand rejected repeatedly by Israel.

   

Abbas said he will meet Ehud Olmert, Israel's prime minister, on June 7.

 

An Olmert spokeswoman said the upcoming talks were likely to take place in the West Bank city of Jericho.

   

Hamas and other armed groups have fired more than 270 rockets from Gaza, killing two Israelis, over the past two weeks.

   

Israel has hit back mainly with air strikes, killing nearly 50 Palestinians.