MOSCOW (AFP) - World leaders expressed mounting concern about the impact on civilians of the fighting in the Gaza Strip Monday, as Israel rejected diplomatic efforts to bring an end to the conflict. At the United Nations meanwhile, Arab states prepared a new draft resolution for a durable ceasefire in Gaza. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza during a telephone conversation with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas, the Kremlin said. "Dmitry Medvedev and Mahmud Abbas discussed the escalation of the situation in the Gaza Strip, which has led to numerous victims among the civilian population and a severe humanitarian situation," it said in a statement. Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on Monday called for a ceasefire in Gaza and warned Israel that its military offensive against the territory would not bring peace. "There can be no military solution to the crisis and through the ties of friendship that exist with the Israeli government, I must inform it that this is not the road that will lead to peace and security for its people," he told a news conference. The foreign minister of the Czech Republic repeated the bloc's call for an immediate halt to Israel's deadly offensive on Hamas in Gaza. Japan said Monday it was "gravely concerned" for the safety of civilians in the Gaza Strip after Israel sent ground forces in following its air blitz. Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura reiterated Japan's calls for a ceasefire between Israel and the Hamas in a conflict. Bangladesh's prime minister-elect Sheikh Hasina Wajed has condemned Israel's ground and air offensive in Gaza, a day before she is due to be sworn in as the country's leader. Sheikh Hasina condemned Israel's actions during a meeting with seven envoys from Arab nations at her residence, said her spokesman Mohammad Zamir. Hundreds of Afghans staged fresh protests Monday against Israel's deadly air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip, calling for the United Nations to intervene. Protests in the southern city of Kandahar and the eastern town of Mihtarlam followed demonstrations in other cities over the past days. The government in Kabul has condemned Israel and demanded a halt to the strikes. Georgia's foreign ministry expressed concern over the plight of civilians but blamed the movement for the violence. A statement expressed "concern over the escalation of tensions in the Gaza Strip and deteriorating humanitarian situation." In New York meanwhile, Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki said Arab nations were proposing a new draft resolution for the United Nations for a lasting ceasefire. "I came at the request of (Palestinian president) Mahmud Abbas in order to start preparing for a draft resolution that will be presented to the Security Council as soon as possible," he told reporters. Earlier Monday, Chinese President Hu Jintao, in a telephone call with US President George W Bush, described events in Gaza as a "humanitarian crisis", according to Beijing's foreign ministry. Hu "expressed concern about the escalation in the conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis and the worsening turbulence in the Middle East," the ministry's website said in a statement. Israel must meet its humanitarian obligations to the people of Gaza after launching a ground invasion into the Palestinian territory, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said Monday. South Korea offered 300,000 dollars in humanitarian aid, while Japan expressed its concern for the safety of civilians in the Gaza Strip. Jordan's Queen Rania, herself of Palestinian origin, said: "Gaza's children, the dead and the barely living, their mothers, their fathers are not acceptable collateral damage, their lives do matter and their loss does count." She called on governments to contribute to the United Nations' Relief and Works Agency UNRWA emergency appeal for 34 million dollars to meet the immediate needs of Gaza's civilians. Aid groups have said Israel's offensive has aggravated a humanitarian crisis for Gaza's population, who have no electricity, no water and now face dire food shortages. Hospitals were only running on back-up generators. The Nahal Oz terminal in the north was also opened to allow the transfer of 200,000 litres of fuel for Gaza's electricity station as well as 120 tonnes of cooking gas, he added. UN chief Ban Ki-moon said Sunday he regretted the Security Council's failure to reach an accord on Israeli's military assault on the Gaza Strip and appealed for unity to end the crisis. "I regret that the Security Council has not been able to reach a consensus, including during its emergency session held yesterday evening, in order to bring about an end to the violence," the secretary general said in a statement.