WASHINGTON--Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is enroute to Israel, the West Bank and Egypt to see if she can broker a deal to broker a truce to avoid Israeli ground troops from rolling to Gaza in the wake of Hamas rocket attacks. Mrs. Clinton will go to Jerusalem, Ramallah and Cairo, departing from Phonm Penh, Cambodia where she has been with President Barack Obama for an East Asia conference.
She will start her trip in Israel, according to Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, Ben Rhodes, who briefed reporters in Cambodia.
Said Rhodes, Mrs. Clinton will "meet with regional leaders, beginning with our Israeli partners, to consult on the situation in Gaza.
"Her visits will build on the engagement that we've undertaken over the last several days, including the engagement by President Obama and Secretary Clinton with leaders in the region to support a de-escalation of the violence and a durable outcome that ends the rocket attacks on Israeli cities and restores a broader calm in the region. Again, as President Obama noted in his conversation with President Morsi, we commend Egypt's efforts to de-escalate the situation, and are hopeful that they will be successful.
"On her trip, Secretary Clinton will emphasize the United States' interest in a peaceful outcome that protects and enhances Israel's security and regional stability -- an outcome that can lead to improved conditions for the civilian residents of Gaza, and that could reopen the path to fulfill the aspirations of Palestinians and Israelis for two states living side by side in peace and security. And, of course, she will continue to express our concern about the loss of civilian life on both sides."
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