Both U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry are in Israel, where they are meeting with Palestinian and Israeli leaders to urge an end to hostilities.

Kerry said, “We certainly have made steps forward,” after speaking with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, but Abbas is not in control of Hamas and the Gaza Strip, where the fighting is taking place.

Ban said fighting had to stop, but on Tuesday Israel reportedly rejected a United Nations request for a humanitarian cease-fire. Prior to Israel’s ground incursion, both Hamas and Israel paused attacks for a few hours to allow for emergency services.

— Posted by Peter Z. Scheer

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