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US Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that diplomacy to end the Gaza bloodshed has made progress, but warned more time was needed. "We have certainly made some steps forward, but there is still work to be done," Kerry said in Jerusalem as he started a meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Kerry flew into Tel Aviv from Cairo on Wednesday -- despite US warnings over airline safety after a Hamas rocket landed near Ben Gurion airport -- as global concerns mount over rising body count in the 16-day conflict in Gaza. Kerry, who declined to elaborate further on the shape of diplomatic efforts, is due to meet later Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Israeli troops battled Hamas militants on Wednesday near a southern Gaza Strip town as the U.S. secretary of state flew into Israel to press top-gear efforts for a truce in the conflict that has so far killed at least 650 Palestinians and 31 Israelis.