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Secretary of State John Kerry met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday in the West Bank, trying to broker a truce 15 days into a bloody conflict in Gaza that has killed hundreds. After their meeting in Ramallah, Kerry, who will meet next with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told reporters there had been progress made in the last 24 hours toward a ceasefire.
"I'm very grateful to President Abbas for his leadership, for his deep engagement in the effort to try to find a ceasefire," Kerry said. "We are doing this for one simple reason: the people in the Palestinian territories, the people in Israel, are all living under the threat or reality of immediate violence and this needs to end for everybody." He added that Abbas is "committed to nonviolence." Kerry arrived in Israel earlier Wednesday and in addition to the two leaders, will meet with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. While U.S. officials have lowered expectations for an instant truce between Israel and Hamas militants who control Gaza, Kerry said Tuesday he wanted to promote talks between the two.