JERUSALEM - Israel's prime minister says Israel would be a "willing partner" in a cease-fire with Gaza's ruling militant group Hamas.
Benjamin Netanyahu made the pronouncement Tuesday at a meeting with U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, who is in the region as part of an international diplomatic push to end nearly a week of fighting between Israel and Hamas.
Netanyahu says that "if a long-term solution can be put in place by diplomatic means, Israel will be a willing partner."
Israel launched the offensive last week to end months of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.
Ban has condemned the rocket attacks but urged Israel to show "maximum restraint." He also has offered his services to help broker a truce.
In the meantime, Israeli warplanes have dropped leaflets on several Gaza City neighborhoods urging people to evacuate their homes immediately.
Tuesday's warnings could signal a new round of heavy airstrikes on residential areas in the Palestinian territory.
The leaflets say "For your safety, you are required to evacuate your residences immediately and move toward central Gaza City" and list areas where people should go.
Palestinian militants have urged residents to ignore the warnings, calling them "psychological warfare."
Egypt's President Mohammed Morsi says a cease-fire ending six days of fighting between Israel and Hamas militants is imminent as top diplomats converge on the region.
Israel has dropped such leaflets previously but never over such a wide area.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )