Kerry Asks Netanyahu to Avoid Further Escalation in Gaza

U.S. secretary of state offers to broker cease-fire between Israel and Hamas; stresses Israel's right to self-defense but expresses concern at escalating tension on the ground.

The United States is willing to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas on the basis of the November 2012 agreement that ended Operation Pillar of Defense, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stressed in a telephone conversation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday evening, according to a senior U.S. official.

The secretary condemned the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel, the official...