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Fri, 25 Jul 2014 19:54:44 +0000
(CAIRO) -- The "seven days of peace" that Secretary of State John Kerry envisions as a path toward a Gaza cease-fire remain as elusive as ever after last-ditch efforts to resolve the conflict.
"We don't yet have that final framework, but none of us are stopping," Kerry said Friday of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians.
Addressing a news conference in Cairo, he said, "There’s a lot on the table, it didn’t get easy last night. But with good will and good effort, I think progress can be made."
Kerry is now headed to Paris for another round of talks.
Mediators originally tried to sell this latest proposal as a week-long humanitarian truce designed to help the hundreds of wounded Palestinians. Israel wanted the deal to include a stipulation that some of its troops be allowed to remain in Gaza during the humanitarian cease-fire.
Kerry flew to Egypt and, later, Israel before returning to Cairo this week to help broker a deal alongside United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
He formally made the proposal to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Thursday evening and the Israeli Security Council held a meeting Friday afternoon to vote on the deal.
Hamas, the Palestinian militant group accused of firing hundreds of rockets into Israel throughout the 18-day conflict, had rejected an earlier cease-fire deal.
The conflict, which emerged after three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and killed, eventually escalated and the Israeli Defense Forces launched Operation Protective Edge on July 8.
Hundreds of Palestinians and dozens of Israelis, mostly soldiers, have died in the conflict.
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