French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Sunday said that securing a ceasefire between the Gaza Strip and Israel and preventing an escalation of the latest outbreak of hostilities in the region was top priority for France.

"In Gaza and Israel the absolute priority is a ceasefire," Fabius told reporters ahead of a side discussion on the latest outbreak of hostilities in Gaza with US Secretary of State John Kerry, British Foreign Secretary William Hague and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

"In this context of a dangerous  escalation, France asks for a return to the 2012 ceasefire," he added.

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