UN Security Council to hold open debate on Gaza

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - United Nations ambassadors have announced the Security Council will hold an open debate on the Gaza crisis on Wednesday afternoon if a cease-fire is not called before then.

After hours of closed-door meetings in the council on Tuesday, the ambassadors of India, Morocco and the Palestinian Authority all emerged to announce the council had agreed to the debate.

The open debate would break a week of silence in the council and comes after the United States blocked adoption of a unanimous press statement from the council because it did not explicitly criticize Hamas' rocket attacks on Israel.

A Russian draft resolution calling for a ceasefire and halt to violence, expressing support for international and regional mediation efforts and urging the Palestinians and Israelis to resume broader Mideast peace talks remains stalled.