WASHINGTON (AP) — Sales of previously owned homes rose for a third straight month in June, pushing activity to the highest level in eight months and providing evidence that housing is regaining lost momentum.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Hamas on Tuesday to seek peace negotiations with Israel in Gaza based on an Egyptian truce proposal that the Islamist militant group has rejected. After meeting President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt, a country which has mediated in the Arab-Israeli conflict in the past, Kerry said he had held constructive talks in a bid to end the conflict in Gaza which has killed more than 600 people. "Hamas has a fundamental choice to make and it is a choice that will have a profound impact for the people of Gaza," Kerry said at a news conference with his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shukri. "The Egyptians have provided a framework and a forum for them to be able to come to the table to have a serious discussion together with other factions of the Palestinians." Hamas has said the Egyptian plan ignores its demands for the release of prisoners and a more comprehensive lifting of an economic blockade on the Gaza Strip.