Obama sends Clinton to Mideast

PHNOM PENH — President Barack Obama dispatched Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to the Middle East on Tuesday as the US urgently seeks to contain the bloody conflict between Israel and Hamas.

By (AP)

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Published: Wed 21 Nov 2012, 8:54 PM

Last updated: Fri 3 Apr 2015, 2:57 PM

Clinton hastily departed for the region from Cambodia, where she had joined Obama for summit meetings with Asian leaders. The White House said she would make three stops, meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Palestinian officials in Ramallah and Egyptian leaders in Cairo.

Clinton’s trip marks the Obama administration’s most forceful engagement in the week-long conflict that has killed more than 100 Palestinians and three Israelis, with hundreds more wounded. While the US has backed Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket fire from Gaza, the Obama administration has warned its ally against pursuing a ground assault that would further escalate the violence and could dramatically increase casualties on both sides. Still, Obama’s deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said the US believes “Israel will make its own decisions about the military operations and decisions that it undertakes.”

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