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Security Council responds to Israeli strikes on Gaza (+video)

On Wednesday night the U.N. Security Council called an emergency meeting following Israel's new offensive strikes against Palestinian militants in Gaza. An Israeli strike was responsible for killing the commander of the Hamas militants.

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"(Ban) expressed his concern (to Netanyahu) about the deteriorating situation in southern Israel and the Gaza Strip, which includes an alarming escalation of indiscriminate rocket fire from Gaza into Israel and the targeted killing by Israel of a Hamas military operative in Gaza," the U.N. said.

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Ban also voiced his expectation that "Israeli reactions are measured so as not to provoke a new cycle of bloodshed."

He also discussed with Mursi "the need to prevent any further deterioration," the United Nations said in a second statement.

U.S. President Barack Obama also spoke with Netanyahu and Mursi and reiterated U.S. support for Israel's right to self-defense in light of rocket attacks from Gaza, the White House said.

"The president urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to make every effort to avoid civilian casualties. The two agreed that Hamas needs to stop its attacks on Israel to allow the situation to de-escalate," the White House statement said.

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