British PM Brown Calls for Gaza Cease-Fire

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Sunday the international community should press for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, where Israeli troops are fighting Palestinian militants from Hamas.

Brown said the escalation of the conflict with Israel's ground offensive marked "a very dangerous moment."

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He said Palestinians urgently needed to receive humanitarian aid, while Israelis needed an end to Hamas rocket attacks.

"So first we need an immediate cease-fire, and that includes a stopping of the rockets into Israel," Brown told the British Broadcasting Corp. "Secondly, we need some resolution of the problem over arms trafficking into Gaza and, thirdly, we need the borders and the crossings open and that will need some international solution."

Israel sent troops and tanks into Gaza late Saturday after a weeklong aerial bombardment. Hundreds of Palestinians have been killed. Israel says it is responding to Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza, which have killed several Israelis.

Brown said pressure from the U.S., the EU and Arab states would be key to stopping the violence. He said a cease-fire should be followed by an end to arms trafficking into Gaza and a reopening by Israel of border crossings into the Palestinian territory.

Hamas is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and many other Western nations. From 2000 to 2004, Hamas was responsible for killing nearly 400 Israelis and wounding more than 2,000 in 425 attacks, according to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

From 2001 through May 2008, Hamas launched more than 3,000 Qassam rockets and 2,500 mortar attacks against Israeli targets.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.