The UN Security Council met in emergency session at the request of the Palestinians and their Arab supporters who want the UN's most powerful body to condemn the Israeli attack on Gaza and call for a cease-fire.
Council members met behind closed doors on Saturday and then went into an open meeting to hear a briefing from the UN Secretariat on the situation in Gaza and statements from the Israelis and Palestinians.
The Arab League's UN observer, Yahya Mahmassani, told The Associated Press the Arabs are drafting a Security Council resolution that would condemn the killings and call for a cease-fire.
The Israeli attack killed 54 Palestinians in the highest single day toll since fighting erupted in 2000.
Such resolutions have failed repeatedly in the past because of US and European objections that they are not balanced in their condemnation.
"We want a condemnation of the killings and we want also a call for a cease-fire by the Security Council," he said.
"What's happening now is jeopardising the peace process."
The prospects of the Security Council approving a resolution, however, remain dim because of the deadlock in agreeing on action in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.
"We hope we can say something about the situation in Gaza," South Africa's UN Ambassador Dumisani Kumalo said before the meeting started.