The UN Security Council will meet at 10 a.m. (1400 GMT) on Thursday to discuss escalating Israel and Palestinian hostilities and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is likely to brief the 15-member body, diplomats said.

Israeli air strikes shook Gaza every few minutes on Wednesday, and terrorists kept up rocket fire at Israel's heartland in intensifying warfare that Palestinian officials said has killed at least 47 people in the Hamas-dominated enclave.

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