UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that the situation in Israel and the Gaza Strip had "dangerously escalated" as he called for a ceasefire at an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council.
He said that 88 Palestinians - many of them civilians - are reported to have been killed in the attacks and another 339 injured.
He said that those responsible must be brought to justice, adding that the risk of a ground offensive was "still palpable and preventable only if Hamas stops rocket firing".
"It is now more urgent than ever to try to find common ground for a return to calm and a ceasefire understanding," he said.
It's been an emotionally exhausting day in Israel and Gaza as hopes for peace were raised then dashed then raised then dashed again.
In the court of international opinion, this is how Israel wins a battle and still manages to lose the war.
Until the Israelis and the Palestinians find a way of resolving the underlining conflict this will not be more than a pause.