International peace-brokering has had no immediate impact in ending the Gaza conflict. But, as his Middle East mission continues, French President Nicolas Sarkozy is exploring fresh options.Despite Israel’s resolve to continue its military action until Hamas stops firing rockets, Paris has drafted a UN Security Council resolution demanding a truce. At the United Nations in New York, Arab states are central to the diplomatic offensive to bring about a lasting ceasefire, as soon as possible. The Security Council will meet today as calls for an end to the violence multiply. “We must insist that Israel end this military assault which is clearly excessive,” said Ban Ki-moon. “We must insist that Hamas end immediately its rocket attacks which are so terribly counter-productive in addition to being completely unacceptable.” Speaking to reporters after a White House meeting with a Sudanese politician, the outgoing US president laid the blame for what has happened firmly at Hamas’s door. “Instead of caring about the people of Gaza, Hamas decided to use Gaza to launch rockets to kill innocent Israelis. And Israel has obviously decided to protect herself and her people,” Bush said. Bush’s soon-to-be successor Barack Obama has remained largely silent on Gaza. But he says officials in the current administration are briefing him on the situation.