The UN Security Council is meeting tonight to consider an Egyptian request for an emergency meeting on Israel's military action in Gaza.
The closed-door meeting comes in response to a letter from Egyptian Ambassador Muutaz Khalil.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released statements saying he had spoken to Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi about "the worrisome escalation of violence in southern Israel and Gaza and the need to prevent any further deterioration."
He also said he had talked to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyau to express concern about "an alarming escalation of indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza into Israel and the targeted killing by Israel of a Hamas military operative in Gaza."
Israel killed Hamas commander Ahmad Jabari in one of some 20 airstrikes on the Gaza Strip Wednesday, the heaviest barrage on the Palestinian territory in four years in retaliation for renewed rocket fire on southern Israel.
Gaza's health minister said 10 people were killed — two of them young children — while the Israeli military said its attack was just the beginning of a major offensive and warned it could escalate with a ground attack.
While countries across Europe and North America commemorated military casualties of past and present wars on November 11, Israel was targeting civilians.
On November 12, waking up to a new week, readers at breakfast were flooded with heart rending accounts of past and current military casualties. There was, however, no or little mention of the fact that the majority of casualties of modern day wars are civilians. There was also hardly any mention on the morning of November 12 of military attacks on Gaza that continued throughout the weekend.
New Democrats are very concerned by the recent escalation of tensions in Gaza and Israel. We call on all sides to exercise restraint and respect international humanitarian law obligations to protect civilians at all times. Escalation would be dangerous and detrimental to prospects for long-term peace and stability in the region.
We are monitoring the situation closely and continue to call on the Canadian government to pursue a balanced and constructive approach in the Middle East.