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Obama ready to broker ceasefire in Gaza Updated: 2014-07-11 20:37:55 KST

Obama ready to broker ceasefire in Gaza

The U.S. says it's willing to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
The White House said U.S. President Barack Obama told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the phone Thursday that he's ready to help end the escalating hostilities on the Gaza strip.
He also reiterated that Israel has the right to defend itself against Palestinian's rocket attacks.
Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to his Egyptian counterpart trying to make him use Egypt's influence in easing the situation, as the country played an important role in brokering an Israel-Hamas ceasefire two years ago.

The surge in rocket fire was triggered amid an Israeli crackdown on Hamas members, which began after the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers last month.
A suspected revenge murder of a Palestinian teenager followed a few days later.
Hamas has reportedly launched over 550 rockets into civilian areas in Israel.
Israel responded with over 500 air strikes, part of their "Operation Protective Edge" launched earlier in the week.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made a passionate appeal for a ceasefire during an emergency session, saying Gaza was on a knife-edge.

"Today, we face the risk of an all-out escalation in Israel and Gaza, with the threat of a ground offensive still palpable -- and preventable only if Hamas stops rocket firing."

The UN chief called on the international community to work with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to stop the situation from escalating and said the region cannot afford another "full-blown war."
Kwon Soa, Arirang News.
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