Paris: France Saturday held an international meeting on ways to end the bloodshed and secure a long-term cease fire in the Gaza Strip where an Israeli military offensive has killed hundreds of Palestinians.
With the Israeli air and ground offensive against Gaza entering its 19th day and killing at least 878 Palestinians, top diplomats of France, the US, Britain, Germany, Qatar, Turkey, Italy and a representative of the European Union gathered in Paris "to try reaching a lasting truce in Gaza", Xinhua reported.
At the meeting, participants would further back Egypt`s initiative that called for a seven-day humanitarian truce during the celebration of Eid ul-Fitr that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
"For France, which fulfils its role as a bridge between the belligerents, ending this bloody conflict is an absolute emergency," a statement issued by the presidency office said.
On Saturday morning, a 12-hour humanitarian truce went into effect after Israel and Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip agreed to a UN request for a pause in fighting.