Clinton, Ban head to Middle East

2012-11-20 12:00
Hillary Clinton (File, AP)

Hillary Clinton (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Phnom Penh - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will leave Asia on Tuesday to visit Israel, Egypt and Ramallah, a US official said, as the United States pushes to avoid an escalation of the Gaza crisis. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is also expected to go Israel on Tuesday.

Clinton will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, then discuss the crisis with Egyptian and Palestinian leaders, after leaving President Barack Obama's trip to Southeast Asia, the official said.

Obama made the decision to send Clinton after speaking to Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi and Netanyahu late on Monday night, deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes said.

"Secretary Clinton will emphasise the US interest in a peaceful outcome that protects and enhances Israel's security and regional security," Rhodes said, though stopped short of calling Clinton's trip a mediating mission.

News of Clinton's trip came as Israeli leaders on Tuesday discussed an Egyptian plan for a truce with Gaza's ruling Hamas militant group and after the death toll from Israeli raids on the enclave rose to more than 100.

Clear message

Meanwhile, Reuters reported that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday called for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza conflict, saying an Israeli ground operation in the Palestinian enclave would be a "dangerous escalation" that must be avoided.

Speaking at a news conference in Cairo after talks with Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby, Ban said he supported Egyptian-led efforts to bring an end to the fighting between Israel and Palestinian militant groups in the Hamas-run territory.

"Immediate steps are needed by all to avoid a further escalation, including a ground operation which will only result in further tragedy," he said.

"My message is clear: All sides must halt fire immediately. Further escalating the situation will put the entire region at risk," said Ban, who will also go to Israel later on Tuesday. "I will urge the Israeli leadership to end the violence," he said.

"We all must recognise that Israel has legitimate security concerns that must be respected in accordance with international law, but a ground operation would be a dangerous escalation," he said.

Read more on:    un  |  mohammed morsi  |  hillary clinton  |  benjamin netanyahu  |  ban ki-moon  |  israel  |  palestine  |  middle east peace  | 

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Prince George the green prince?

Prince Charles hopes his grandson's love of the outdoors will become a passion for the environment.



One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer
Hurricanes, earthquakes and floods – What climate change really means for us

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly


The full moon energy can be quite intense today as your emotions fight against reason. It is important to ground your ideas more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.