UNITED NATIONS - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged the Security Council to act swiftly to end the worsening crisis in the Gaza Strip following the ground invasion of Israel. "We must move from debate to action, and must do so immediately," Ban told a Security Council meeting on Tuesday night that brought together Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and foreign ministers from some Arab nations, the United States, Britain and France. Citing unconfirmed reports, Ban said that over 570 Palestinian shave been killed and over 2,700 injured since the conflict broke out 11 days ago. "The only answer is an end to the violence," he said. "Whatever the rationale of the combatants, only an end to violence and a political way forward can deliver long-term security and peace." Ban said he plans to travel next week to Israel, the Occupied Palestinian Territory, and to regional capitals. "But I do not believe we can wait until then to end the violence. we must achieve that now," he said. "To do so, there must be an immediate ceasefire, durable and respected fully by all sides. Immediate humanitarian measures including open crossings for humanitarian assistance should be ensured. Viable international mechanisms will be required to ensure that the borders are properly functioning," he said. "This Council has the primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security. "I hope that the Council will act swiftly and decisively to put this crisis to an end," he added. The Secretary-General welcomed an initiative by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and French President Nicolas Sarkozy for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. "Third parties will need to provide assistance, both on the ground and in terms of diplomatic support, to supervise and safeguard all the various elements of a ceasefire. Gaza's enormous social relief and reconstruction needs will need to be addressed," Ban said, calling on all member states to respond promptly and generously to the UN appeal for funds. Ban said he plans to visit Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory next week and some other regional capitals as well. "But I do not believe we can wait until then to end the violence. We must achieve that now," he said. He said that the Israeli shelling of UN schools where hundreds of Gazans had sought refuge made a ceasefire more urgent than ever. Mubarak and Sarkozy announced the peace plan at a press conference in Egypt. The peace initiative won immediate support from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who told the Security Council that "despite the violence, we are committed to the peace process." Also taking the floor at the Security Council meeting, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gave US support to the peace initiative, saying "our goal must be the stabilisation and normalisation of life in Gaza." She also stressed that any peace plan "has to be a solution that does not allow the rearmament of Hamas." At Tuesday's four hour Council meeting, virtually every Arab speaker denounced the Security Council's failure to adopt a legally binding resolution to stop the Israeli offensive and demand a durable ceasefire. Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal said the Council's "deafening silence" placed "a big question mark" over its credibility "and the entire system of international security." Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa said the Egyptian and French presidents launched their initiative, which the league's 22 members support, because of the council's procrastination. "We do not see any contradiction between that initiative and the work of the Security Council," he said. "In fact, they both complement each other ... since our objective is the same." To try to spur speedy Council action, Libya formally circulated a revised Arab draft resolution Tuesday that, in party, calls for a ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces and the opening of all crossings into Gaza. But the draft makes no mention of a key US and Israeli demand - for border monitors to destroy tunnels that Hamas has used to smuggle arms since seizing control of Gaza. Hamas has not been mentioned by name. The Security Council scheduled another meeting Wednesday morning. Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit read Mubarak's statement in Sharm-el-Sheik, Egypt to the council. Palestinian President Abbas pressed the UNSC to call for a halt to Israeli "aggression" and to end the "unjust siege" of the Gaza Strip. "I call on the Council to take the first necessary step to save my people in Gaza", he told the 15-member body, "a resolution calling for an immediate full cessation of Israeli aggression." In his address, Abbas also called for an end to the "unjust siege suffocating Gaza, the reopening of all crossing points, particularly between Israel and Gaza and between Gaza and Egypt." "Put an end to the massacre of my people," he told the Council. "Let my people live and let my people be free."