US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Tel Aviv on July 23, despite a US Federal Aviation Administration ban provoked by a Hamas rocket landing nearby.
Kerry joined UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in an effort to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, the militant group which controls Gaza.
Ban Ki-moon spoke of the action needed.
“First and foremost, I think the violence must stop now and immediately start dialogue and address all the root causes which have already been identified, which have already been discussed and negotiated for a long time. I do not think we have any time to lose,” he said.
Kerry has implied negotiations are making headway, but more work needs to be done. He met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah and Jerusalem, before heading to Israel.
Abbas called a cabinet meeting to discuss the Palestinian stance on negotiations.
“We will continue calls and meetings”, he said. “And we will not leave our responsibilities. We will work hard to stop the aggression and to ensure our rights. And we will hold accountable all of those who committed crimes against our people, however long it takes, so that no crime goes without justice.”
Ban Ki-moon has entered into discussions with both sides in the conflict. He has supported Israel’s right to defend itself and grieved for the hundreds of Palestinians who have died since fighting broke out on July 8.
However, despite a burst of diplomatic efforts, there has been no let up in fighting in Gaza.