Kouchner, Sarkozy consider Israel trip over Gaza violence

France's foreign minister said Wednesday that he and President Nicolas Sarkozy are considering going to Israel amid international diplomatic efforts to end the violence in Gaza. France has been pushing to halt the fighting, and chaired an emergency meeting of EU foreign ministers in Paris on Tuesday to seek solutions. France holds the EU presidency until midnight. Despite international pressure, Israeli officials said Wednesday the country is rejecting calls for an immediate 48-hour pause in its devastating five-day assault on Hamas in Gaza. Kouchner had pushed for such a stoppage, in part to ensure humanitarian aid to victims in Gaza. He did not immediately respond to the rejection. Just before the Israeli announcement, Kouchner said on RTL radio that he and Sarkozy will be in southern Lebanon next week, and "we will see if it is possible to go to Israel."