Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal discussed efforts for a truce in Gaza with the ruler of Kuwait, current chair of the Arab League, on Sunday, state media and a diplomatic source said.

The official KUNA news agency gave no details of the talks with Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah.

But a diplomatic source told AFP that they focused on the situation in Gaza and ways to end the 13-day Israeli assault on the Palestinian territory which was launched in response to Gazan rocket fire on Israel and which has killed nearly 400 people.

Mashaal arrived in the early hours of Sunday from Qatar, where he is based.

He was due to return to Doha later to discuss the truce efforts with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Earlier this week, an Egyptian truce proposal was accepted by Israel, but snubbed by Hamas, which said it had not been consulted.

It has since requested changes to the Egyptian plan.

Hamas is demanding a complete end to the Israeli blockade on Gaza, that the Rafah crossing with Egypt be opened, and that Israel free scores of veteran prisoners who were re-arrested in recent weeks.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is due in Kuwait on Monday for talks with the emir as he joins the diplomatic efforts for a Gaza truce, KUNA said.