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White House hustles to defend Kerry’s failure to broker Middle East cease-fire

- The Washington Times - Monday, July 28, 2014

The White House Monday defended its unsuccessful efforts to reach a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, saying Secretary of State John F. Kerry has been "tireless" in his diplomacy.

"Israel has no better friend, no stronger defender," White House deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken said of Mr. Kerry. "No one has done more to help Israel achieve a secure and lasting peace. He has been tireless in his efforts."

Polls in Israel show an overwhelming majority of Israelis don't support a truce with Hamas, which is firing rockets into Israel from Gaza. The conflict has led to an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza, with nearly 1,000 civilians killed in the fighting.

President Obama discussed the conflict Monday with European allies, who agreed on the need for at least a temporary, humanitarian cease-fire.

Mr. Blinken said the failed effort over the weekend to reach a truce was due in part to "an effort to misinform" the public by undisclosed sources about proposed terms for a cease-fire.

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