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US offers to leverage contacts in search of Gaza ceasefire

Published on Jul 12, 2014 6:11 AM
 
A picture taken from the southern Israeli Gaza border shows a rocket being launched from the Gaza strip into Israel, on July 11, 2014. The United States said on Friday that it was ready to leverage its relationships in the Middle East to try to bring about a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States said on Friday that it was ready to leverage its relationships in the Middle East to try to bring about a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

The US offer came a day after President Barack Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to offer to facilitate an end to Hamas rocket fire and Israeli aerial assaults that have killed 100 Palestinians in Gaza.

"There are a number of relationships the United States has that we are willing to leverage in the region to try to bring about an end to the rocket fire that's originating in Gaza and, as we saw this morning, in Lebanon," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

"We are interested in taking the kinds of steps that we did about a year and a half ago in November of 2012 to facilitate a ceasefire and to try to get this situation back on the path of de-escalation." On that occasion, the United States worked with Egypt to broker a deal to end eight days of fighting between Israel and and the Islamist movement Hamas.

 
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