All sides in Gaza conflict must immediately halt fire: Ban

UN chief Ban Ki-moon has urged all sides to the Gaza conflict to immediately cease their fire. 

He warned at a news conference in Cairo that an escalation will endanger the whole region. 

His comments came as an Israeli military operation against rocket-firing militants in Gaza entered a seventh day, with 112 Palestinians and three Israelis killed. 

The UN chief is to fly to Israel and the Palestinian West Bank later today for meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

Israeli ministers have decided to hold off from launching a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip to give Egyptian-led truce efforts a chance to work. 

Separately, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to leave Asia today to visit Israel, Egypt and Ramallah, as the US pushes to avoid an escalation of the crisis.