Kerry, Ban meet in Egypt to plea for peace in Gaza
Monday, July 21, 2014 - 01:01
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon meet in Cairo, Egypt, to press for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry began a diplomatic push on Monday (July 21) to try to secure a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas but senior U.S. officials acknowledged this would be challenging.
More than 500 people have died in the Gaza Strip fighting, the vast majority of them Palestinians, as Israel has pursued an air and ground offensive to try to stop rocket attacks on its territory from the Hamas-dominated Gaza Strip.
Kerry began his consultations, which are expected to include meetings with top officials in Egypt and possibly elsewhere in the region, with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Cairo on Monday night.
Speaking to the media in a joint news conference, Ban expressed sympathy for the Palestinian people and said he understood why Israel had to "respond militarily", but insisted that the violence needed to end immediately.
"I full understand, fully sympathize the sufferings of the Palestinian people, particularly in Gaza. These restrictions should be lifted as soon as possible so that people should not resort to this kind of violence as a way of expressing their grievances. At the same time, I fully appreciate the legitimate right to defend their country and citizens of Israel. Israel should also be able to live in peace and security without being endangered of their citizens. I'm asking that Hamas should immediately stop firing rocket," he said.
Kerry plans to stay in Cairo until Wednesday morning and has no currently scheduled end to his trip, which may also entail talks with officials from Qatar. The Gulf state has relatively close ties to Hamas and hosts its leader Khaled Meshaal.
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