WASHINGTON (TheBlaze/AP) — The Obama administration is stepping up efforts to forge a truce between Israel and the militant Hamas movement by sending Secretary of State John Kerry to the Middle East to bolster regional efforts to reach a ceasefire.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (Image source: AP/Ronald Zak)

The State Department said Kerry would leave early Monday for Egypt where he will join diplomatic efforts for a truce.

Cairo has offered a cease-fire plan backed by the U.S. and Israel, but Hamas has rejected it and is relying on governments in Qatar and Turkey for an alternative proposal.

Qatar and Turkey have ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, which is also linked to Hamas but banned in Egypt.

Meanwhile the United Nations Security Council is reportedly holding an emergency meeting Sunday night on the situation in Gaza, the AP added.

Several diplomats tweeted that the meeting is at 9:30 p.m. local time. French Ambassador Gerard Araud tweeted that the meeting is being held at the request of council member Jordan.

The U.N. spokesman’s office says it cannot confirm the meeting.