Middle East News

Kerry Flies To Tel Aviv To Back Immediate Ceasefire In Gaza

Tel Aviv

Towards the end of the second week of bloodshed in Gaza, the U.S. once again called on Israel and Hamas militants to agree to a ceasefire — even though the combatants showed no signs of laying down their arms.

At least 649 Palestinians—about 80 percent of whom were civilians and 20 percent were children — and 31 Israelis have been killed since the armed conflict broke out earlier this month. And it appears that the hostilities are not going to end soon as Hamas continues to bombard Israeli cities, with one missile exploding so close to Ben Gurion Airport that most international air carriers took the precaution of cancelling their flights to Tel Aviv.

After meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and U.N. Chief Ban Ki-moon, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry  flew into Tel Aviv on Wednesday, despite the travel precautions, to meet with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in order to demonstrate his aggressive stance on a truce between the two parties, the Associated Press reported.

Kerry said the negotiations are making some progress but declined to offer specific details. He did, however, downplay hopes there will be an immediate long-lasting peace in the territories.

[quote text_size=”small” author=”– John Kerry” author_title=”U.S. Secretary of State”]

We certainly have made steps forward. There’s still work to be done.


The U.N. Human Rights Council chief Navi Pillay condemned Israel’s military actions in the Gaza Strip, saying that war crimes may have been committed, the BBC reported.

Pillay told an emergency debate at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva that Israel’s military offensive had not done enough to protect civilians.

She also condemned Hamas for “indiscriminate attacks” on Israel. “There seems to be a strong possibility that international law has been violated, in a manner that could amount to war crimes.”

“The principles of distinction and precaution are clearly not being observed during such indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas by Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups.”

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