U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talks with U.S. Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Bill Grant as he arrives in Tel Aviv, July 23, 2014. Kerry arrived in Tel Aviv on Wednesday to seek ways of ending the deadliest violence in years between Israel and Gaza's Islamist Hamas.
Secretary of State John Kerry landed in Tel Aviv Wednesday for talks with leaders in a bid to halt the deadly fighting in Gaza. He will travel to Jerusalem and the West Bank and is expected to meet UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, Palestinian Authority President Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu.
U.S. officials have downplayed expectations for an immediate truce between Israel and the Hamas militant group that controls Gaza, but Kerry said Tuesday that he wanted to discuss options for a long-lasting settlement as well as a humanitarian cease-fire. Kerry flew into the city’s Ben-Gurion airport on an Air Force jet one day after the FAA instructed U.S. commerical airlines not to fly there. The 24-hour restriction was imposed after a Hamas rocket landed close to the airport on Tuesday.