Kerry wraps up Israel visit, no sign of breakthrough
                 English.news.cn | 2014-07-24 05:41:36 | Editor: yan

MIDEAST-JERUSALEM-ISRAEL-SHIMON PERES-U.S.-JOHN KERRY-MEETING

Israeli President Shimon Peres(R) meets with visiting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at President's Residence in Jerusalem, on July 23, 2014. John Kerry arrived in Israel on Wednesday to boost efforts to reach a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, a U.S. Embassy official in Tel Aviv told Xinhua. (Xinhua/U.S. Embassy to Israel)

 

JERUSALEM, July 23 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry left Israel late Wednesday after a day-long visit in the country in which he tried to broker a ceasefire agreement to end the ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas.

There have been no official reports regarding a possible breakthrough in the ceasefire efforts as Kerry left Wednesday night and no comments were made by Israeli officials regarding the status of the talks.

Kerry met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who arrived in Israel the preceding day, trying to bring an end to Israel's 16-day campaign in Gaza.

Kerry said earlier on Wednesday, prior to his meeting with the UN chief and following his meeting with Palestinian President Abbas, that some progress was made, but that there's still work that needs to be done to reach an agreement.

"We have certainly made some steps forward and there is still work to be done," Kerry told the UN chief in Jerusalem Wednesday morning. Kerry thanked Ban for his efforts to advance "not just a ceasefire but a sustainable process going forward."

The secretary of state did not give any details regarding the so-called progress and made no further statements to the press throughout the visit.

Senior Israeli officials were quoted by the Ha'aretz daily as saying that at this point, the conditions are not ripe for a ceasefire.

Following Kerry's meeting with Netanyahu Wednesday evening, the Israeli prime minister convened his security cabinet in Tel Aviv in order to discuss the Gaza Operation and the ongoing mediation efforts.

The cabinet is scheduled to conduct an unusual session in the Knesset (parliament) on Thursday, the Ha'aretz daily reported, to discuss Operation Protective Edge, which Israel commenced on July 8. Netanyahu is expected to give a statement during the session.

Kerry arrived in Tel Aviv on Wednesday morning, after making an earlier stop in Cairo where he met with Egyptian officials. His arrival comes amid a ban announced by the United States Federal Aviation Authority on flights to Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion airport, due to the rockets threat from the Gaza Strip.

Kerry arrived in Ramallah in the afternoon, where he met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who has also been shuttling back and forth between Arab nations in order to get a ceasefire agreement.

Related:

News Analysis: Fighting rages in Gaza as Kerry arrives in Israel

WASHINGTON, July 23 (Xinhua) -- Fighting continues to rage three days into a U.S. push to halt the crisis in Gaza, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arriving in Israel Wednesday in a bid to negotiate a ceasefire.

Hostilities began when Hamas started shooting rockets into Israeli population centers, which sparked an Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip to stop the attacks. Casualties in Gaza continued to mount Wednesday with no end in sight as Kerry began his trip to the embattled region with talks with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and later meeting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank and separately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Full Story

UN to launch inquiry into human rights violations from Israel military offensive

GENEVA, July 23 (Xinhua) -- A special session of United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) adopted a resolution on Wednesday and decided to launch an inquiry into human rights violations from Israel latest military offensive in the Gaza strip.

The one-day special session, requested by 22 members of the council and 16 Observer States, backed a Palestinian-drafted resolution by 29 votes in favor, 17 abstentions, and one against. The United States was the sole member that cast the no ballot. Full Story

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