UNITED NATIONS - The UN Security Council met in a closed emergency meeting on Wednesday night to discuss Israeli strikes against the Gaza Strip as Israel threatened a wider offensive in the Palestinian enclave to stem rocket salvos by Hamas terrorists.
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Diplomats said UN political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman was briefing the 15-nation council. Israeli and Palestinians envoys will also have a chance to speak.
Separately, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's press office said in two separate statements that he spoke on the telephone with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Mohamed Morsi of Egypt.
"(Ban) expressed his concern (to Netanyahu) about the deteriorating situation in southern Israel and the Gaza Strip, which includes an alarming escalation of indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza into Israel and the targeted killing by Israel of a Hamas military operative in Gaza," the UN said.
Ban also voiced his expectation that "Israeli reactions are measured so as not to provoke a new cycle of bloodshed."
He also discussed with Morsi "the need to prevent any further deterioration," the United Nations said in a second statement.