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Defying flight ban, Kerry lands in Israel on truce mission

Published on Jul 23, 2014 4:50 PM
 

BEN GURION AIRPORT (Israel) (AFP) - Washington's top diplomat flew into Tel Aviv Wednesday, defying a US flight ban, to try to broker an end to violence in Gaza, which has killed hundreds and hobbled Israel's main airport.

Secretary of State John Kerry jetted in from Cairo to Ben Gurion airport, with reporters banned from reporting the trip until his custom Boeing 757 touched down.

He immediately set off for Jerusalem where he was to meet visiting UN chief Ban Ki-moon, after which he was to travel to the West Bank city of Ramallah for talks with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas, a State Department official said.

He was later to return to Tel Aviv for talks at the defence ministry with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the official said, adding that Kerry had been engaged in phonecalls with regional foreign ministers until the early hours of Wednesday.

US Secretary of State John Kerry (centre) walks with US embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Bill Grant at Ben Gurion airport as he arrives in Israel on July 23, 2014. Washington's top diplomat flew into Tel Aviv Wednesday, defying a US flight ban, to try to broker an end to violence in Gaza, which has killed hundreds and hobbled Israel's main airport. -- PHOTO: AFP
 
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