U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton meets Wednesday with Palestinian and Egyptian leaders as she works to bring calm to the violence between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.
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Clinton held two hours of talks late Tuesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other senior Israel officials.
The prime minister said before the meeting that he prefers diplomacy to halt cross-border airstrikes between Israel and the Hamas militants. But he again pledged that Israel will take every action to protect its citizens. He said obviously no country can tolerate attacks on its citizens.
Clinton called this a critical moment for Israel, adding that the U.S. commitment to Israeli security is rock solid. She said terrorist rocket attacks on Israel must end, and that a durable outcome is needed that promotes the security and aspirations of both Israel and the Palestinians. She also said her heart breaks for every civilian death, Israeli and Palestinian.
Tuesday came and went without an Egyptian-brokered deal for what officials are calling a period of calm - not a true cease-fire.