Israel's military offensive presses on, Kerry seeks ceasefire
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - 01:29
Fighting rages as Israel presses on with its ground offensive in Gaza, on a mission to destroy hidden tunnels and militants' missile stockpiles. Jillian Kitchener reports.
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Inside is dark, but their mission is clear.
Israel says it's committed to removing hidden tunnels used by Hamas fighters in Gaza, and destroying the militants' missile stockpiles.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, meanwhile, is in the region, pressing for a ceasefire... meeting separately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) US SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY SAYING:
"We will continue to work with President Abbas and others in the region in order to achieve it, and I can tell you that we have in the last 24 hours, made some progress in moving towards that goal."
Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat says their meeting was focused on a ceasefire AND lifting the blockade of Gaza:
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PALESTINIAN NEGOTIATOR SAEB EREKAT, SAYING:
"This is not a war on the Gaza Strip or on Hamas. This is a war on the Palestinian people. This is not self-defence. This is a defence of settlement expansion, aggression and blockade."
With minimal belongings, thousands continue to flee their homes in Gaza - seeking shelter in other parts of the impoverished enclave.
And in the West Bank, Palestinians are sending a clear message to the United Nations -- the death toll is rising.
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