Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Cairo Monday night in an attempt by the Obama Administration to broker a ceasefire in the current Israeli offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The trip came as President Barack Obama made his strongest public push yet to bring an end to nearly two weeks of fighting, citing “serious concerns” about the growing numbers of deaths in Gaza in comments at the White House on Monday.The current crisis escalated two weeks ago after Hamas began launching missiles daily into Israeli territory threatening 8 million civilians.
“It now has to be our focus and the focus of the international community to bring about a cease-fire that ends the fighting,” Mr. Obama said, speaking at the White House. “Obviously it will not be easy.”
Senior U.S. officials traveling with Mr. Kerry said the politics of the Middle East have shifted dramatically since the Obama administration intervened in 2012 to end an earlier round of fighting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government and Hamas.take our poll - story continues below
The officials said leading Arab and Mideast states are deeply divided over whether to bail Hamas out from its intensifying war with Israel and that Egypt’s new president, former general Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, had only limited sway over the Palestinian fighters.
Israeli officials also indicated they wouldn’t be deterred from finishing their military mission—which they describe as destroying Hamas’s tunnel networks—by the American diplomatic offensive.