Security Council schedules emergency consultations

The United Nations Security Council has scheduled emergency consultations to address the escalation of violence in Gaza. The decision Saturday came after Israeli tanks and infantry rolled into Gaza in a ground offensive in a widening war against Hamas. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged key world leaders to intensify efforts to achieve an immediate Israeli-Hamas cease-fire that includes international monitors to enforce a truce and, possibly, to protect Palestinian civilians. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and several Arab foreign ministers were flying to New York over the weekend to urge the Security Council to adopt an Arab draft resolution that would condemn Israel and demand a halt to its bombing campaign in Gaza.