UN: 'New bloodshed will not open the door to negotiations'

The UN Secretary-General's spokesman said that Ban Ki-moon "plans to visit the region shortly."

UN diplomats have said that Ban will visit Israel and Egypt next week.

"A new cycle of bloodshed will make neither Israelis nor Palestinians more secure," spokesman Martin Nesirky said.

"Nor will bloodshed open the door to negotiations that could achieve the two-state solution necessary to end such violence permanently."

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Israel and Hamas to "stop this dangerous escalation" in the Gaza Strip to avoid further bloodshed in Israel and the Palestinian territories, Ban's spokesman said.

Mr Nesirky said:

The Secretary-General is extremely concerned about the continued violence in Gaza and Israel, and deeply worried by the rising cost in terms of civilian lives.

Rocket attacks are unacceptable and must stop at once.

Israel must exercise maximum restraint.

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Israel-Hamas ceasefire deal

Egypt has announced a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas that is set to begin at 7pm UK time. The announcement was made by the Egyptian foreign minister in Cairo alongside US Secretary if State Hillary Clinton.