The United Nations Security Council has called for “an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza following an emergency session.
The council released a presidential statement – one step below a legally-binding resolution – urging Israel and Hamas “to accept and fully implement the humanitarian ceasefire into the Eid period and beyond”.
Several temporary truces have been observed and broken on a weekend when the Palestinian death toll topped 1,000.
Some 43 Israeli soldiers have also been killed since their military operation began on July 8 – while three civilians have died from rocket fire into Israel.
Barack Obama called Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday to press for an immediate truce.
The US President said Israel had a right to defend itself – but reiterated his country’s “serious and growing concern” about the loss of life on both sides and the “worsening humanitarian situation in Gaza”.
Hamas fired more rockets at Israel overnight, despite claims it had accepted a UN request for a 24-hour extension of a humanitarian ceasefire.
The temporary break – which Israel has not formally agreed – started at 2pm (noon UK time) yesterday ahead of the Muslim festival of Eid.
Sky News’Sherine Tadros, reporting from Gaza City, said more than 160,000 civilians had sought refuge in dozens of temporary shelters and were suffering from major food and water shortages.