Smoke rises after Israeli missile strikes hit the northern Gaza Strip.

Smoke rises after Israeli missile strikes hit the northern Gaza Strip.

The Foreign Office is urgently investigating reports that a British national has been killed in Gaza.

The man, said to be from Rochdale, apparently died in an Israeli strike on the town of Rafah yesterday.

A spokesman for the department said: “We are aware of the reports of the death of a British national in Rafah and are urgently looking into them.”

The Prime Minister said the apparent death of the man, said to be from Rochdale, in an Israeli strike underlined the need for “an immediate unconditional humanitarian ceasefire observed properly by both sides”.

Speaking on a visit to the Loos Cemetery in northern France on Monday, Mr Cameron said: “I’m extremely concerned about these reports and we are doing everything we can to get to the bottom (of them) and find out exactly what has happened.

“I don’t want to say anything before we’ve been able to do that but this only reinforces the need for an immediate unconditional humanitarian ceasefire observed properly by both sides.

“This slaughter, this killing has got to end.”

Meanwhile, an Israeli-declared temporary ceasefire has slowed violence in the Gaza conflict.

However, an attack on an Israeli bus that killed one person in Jerusalem underscored the tensions still simmering in the region.

Several ceasefires have broken down during the month-long war – including on Friday when an internationally negotiated truce collapsed amid violence and mutual recrimination between Israel and Hamas.

But with terrorist rocket fire tapering off over the last 24 hours and Israel‘s ground operation in Gaza winding down, violence in a war that officials say has killed more than 1,800 Palestinians and more than 60 Israelis appeared – for the moment – to be waning.

The lull was broken by the Jerusalem assault, which saw a man ram the front end of a construction excavator into anIsraeli bus. Police described the incident as a “terrorist attack,” indicating Palestinian involvement.

The attack occurred on a main thoroughfare near Jerusalem’s light-rail line. The area is located near the unofficial line between Jewish west Jerusalem and east Jerusalem, the section of the city captured by Israel in 1967 and which is home to most of the city’s Arab population. Israeli media said the attacker came from an Arab area of the city.

Israel’s Channel 10 TV showed mobile phone footage of what it said was the attack, with the yellow excavator slamming its large shovel into the bus.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said a police officer in the area opened fire and killed the attacker. A pedestrian was also killed, said Jerusalem district police chief Yossi Piranti.

In the past, Palestinian attackers have gone on deadly rampages with bulldozers in Jerusalem traffic.

“Because of the quick reaction of the police an even graver incident was avoided,” Mr Piranti said.