Moscow Urges Calm in Gaza

With Israel continuing on Sunday with assaults that have killed more than 100 Palestinians, the Foreign Ministry called on Israel and the Palestinian territories to end the violence to give a chance to peace talks.

More than 100 Palestinians, many of them civilians, have been killed in five days of intense Israeli airstrikes and raids in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. Israel said it was responding to crossborder rockets that killed an Israeli man in the border town of Sderot on Wednesday and wounded three others in the major southern city of Ashkelon.

"Moscow once again voices its categorical condemnation of the rocket attacks on Israeli territory," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement Saturday. "They must stop immediately."

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert vowed on Sunday to press on with a Gaza offensive and curb rocket strikes.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon condemned Israel for using "excessive" force and demanded a halt to the offensive, which killed 61 people on Saturday, the bloodiest day for Palestinians since the 1980s.