The top U.S. diplomat defied a
U.S. Secretary of State
Kerry flew into Tel Aviv on an Air Force jet one day after the FAA banned commercial flights into Ben-Gurion Airport. The FAA imposed the 24-hour restriction after a Hamas rocket landed within a mile of the airport on Tuesday.
Kerry flew to Tel Aviv from Cairo, where he met Tuesday with Egypt's president and other high-level officials. Egypt has proposed a cease-fire plan that is backed by the U.S. and Israel but been rejected by Hamas. Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri said Tuesday's talks were focused "to not only resolve this issue, but also to set in motion once again the peace process that Secretary Kerry has been so actively involved in so as to end this ongoing conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis."
It's unlikely that Washington is ready to wade back into the morass of peace negotiations that broke off last April after nearly nine months of shuttle diplomacy by Kerry. But the new round of fighting between Israel and Hamas militants who control Gaza has reached the level of violence that U.S. officials warned last spring would happen without an enduring truce.
Kerry stopped short Tuesday of advocating a new round of peace talks. Still, he left the door open for broad negotiations between Israel and Palestinian officials once a cease-fire is in place.