CAIRO (AP) — The immediate goal is a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas — but Secretary of State John Kerry says, “Just reaching a cease-fire is clearly not enough.”
After meeting with Egypt’s president today in Cairo, Kerry said there has to be a “serious” discussion of the “underlying issues.” Egypt has proposed a cease-fire plan that is backed by the U.S. and Israel, but it’s been rejected by Hamas.
Kerry stopped short of advocating a new round of peace talks. The last round broke off last April after nearly nine months of shuttle diplomacy by Kerry.
In a separate meeting today with Kerry, the president of the Arab League called the bloodshed in Gaza a “massacre.” More than 600 Palestinians and 29 Israelis have been killed since the new fighting began two weeks ago.
Kerry also met with the Palestinian intelligence chief this morning. He’s expected to travel to Israel later in the week.
The United States is sending $47 million in humanitarian aid for tens of thousands of Palestinians who fled their homes in Gaza to escape the fighting.