Israel warned against Gaza invasion
An uncertain ceasefire appears to have been reached between Israel and Hamas as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned both sides to de-escalate the conflict.
After negotiations in Cairo, a Hamas official claimed that a truce had been agreed and would come into effect from 10pm, but an Israeli official claims that no deal has yet been reached due to a Hamas demand to keep an access route open.
Speaking alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Ms Clinton called for calm but reaffirmed her country’s backing for Israel and its right to defend itself.
“America’s commitment to Israel’s security is rock-solid and unwavering. That is why we believe it is essential to de-escalate the situation in Gaza. The rocket attacks from terrorist organisations inside Gaza on Israeli cities and towns must end and broader calm [be] restored.”
UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon is holding talks with the both sides to try to encourage them to reach a deal.
Today he was in Jerusalem for talks with Mr Netanyahu, when he warned Israel against launching a ground offensive on the Gaza Strip. Mr Ban will travel to the West Bank town of Ramallah tomorrow to speak with Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas.
William Hague earlier used a statement on the Middle East to warn that "time is running out" to achieve a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The Foreign Secretary spoke about "the intolerable situation for the residents of southern Israel, and the grave loss of life and humanitarian suffering in Gaza".