UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon censured as "atrocious action" the killing of dozens of Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip by Israeli shelling and called for immediate end to nearly two weeks of brutal attacks. Ban, in Doha on the first leg of a Middle East tour to try to end the bloodshed that has cost more than 400 lives, met Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled al-Attiya before heading for Egypt. "While I was on route to Doha, dozens more civilians have been killed in the Israeli military strikes . . . in Gaza ... I condemn the atrocious action," he said in a statement after talks with Attiya. "Israel must exercise maximum restraint. I repeat my demands that they must respect international humanitarian law. The violence must stop now," he added. More than 60 Palestinians were killed on Sunday during the Zionist shelling of Gaza's Shujaiyya neighborhood. At least 40 other Palestinians were martyred in other parts of the Israeli-blockaded enclave on the same day. Hamas Spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said on Sunday that officials of the Red Cross contacted Hamas and suggested to broker a 3-hour ceasefire to enable ambulances to evacuate injured people and dead bodies. Hamas agreed to the proposal, but the Israelis refused it, said Abu Zuhri. He underlined Zionist efforts to prevent ambulance services from doing their work. Some 50,000 Palestinians are already staying in United Nations shelters, according to UNRWA, the UN refugee agency for Palestinians.