Israeli officials say diplomats have been instructed to highlight the plight of Israelis living under increasing rocket fire from Gaza. The move is aimed at preparing international opinion for stepped-up action by Israel's military.

Rocket fire from Gaza has spiked in recent days after the expiry of a six-month truce between Israel and the territory's Hamas rulers.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said Monday that Israeli diplomats are meeting with their counterparts and decision-makers abroad.

Ministry officials say the diplomatic moves are meant in part as a pre-emptive step to block a U.N. Security Council resolution that could interfere with an Israeli operation. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the specifics of the Israeli moves were not officially made public.