The U.N. Security Council has condemned the escalation of fighting in southern Israel and Gaza. In a statement, it urged the Israelis and Palestinians to "immediately cease all acts of violence."
"These acts must not be allowed to deter the political process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in establishing two states — Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security," said Vitaly Churkin, Russia's ambassador to the United Nations.
The statement by the Security Council follows an Israeli offensive against Palestinian militants Saturday in Gaza that killed at least 54 people, many of them civilians. It was the deadliest day of fighting in more than a year.
Israel says it is responding to Palestinian militants firing rockets into southern Israel.
Liane Hansen speaks with Steven Erlanger, Jerusalem bureau chief for The New York Times.