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US presses for Gaza ceasefire

By AP reporter

The UN chief and the US secretary of state yesterday made a new attempt to nail down a temporary truce between Israel and Hamas.

Israel's 18-day military operation in the Gaza Strip fuelled new unrest in the West Bank, where five Palestinians were killed during protests.

And Israel's military announced that an Israeli soldier whom Hamas had claimed to have captured in Gaza earlier this week was in fact killed in battle that day.

US secretary of state John Kerry, UN chief Ban Ki-Moon and Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shukri met twice in Cairo yesterday to try to agree a week-long truce.

Mr Kerry has made clear that he wanted to secure at least a temporary pause in the violence before he returned to Washington.

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