Kerry meets with U.N., Egypt as Gaza truce push builds

Palestinians gather as rescue workers search for victims under the rubble of a house which witnesses said was destroyed in an Israeli air strike in Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip July 25, 2014. (Reuters)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry huddled Friday with U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon and Egypt’s foreign minister as pressure built for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Kerry, who spent another night in Cairo reaching out by telephone to regional officials, met Ban and Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukri for around half an hour.

The top U.S. diplomat has said he would speak to reporters later Friday, on what could be the end of his week-long mission to the region.

The United States has worked with Egypt on a plan that, diplomats say, would provide a humanitarian pause in the deadly Israel-Hamas conflict ahead of talks on key issues.

U.S. officials said that Kerry has spoken repeatedly by telephone with the foreign ministers of Qatar and Turkey, which are seen as influential over Hamas.

The Islamist militant movement that controls the Gaza Strip initially refused a ceasefire, instead showering Israel with rockets.

The 18-day conflict has killed more than 845 people, most of them Palestinian civilians.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:44 - GMT 06:44
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