July 21st, 2014
03:40 AM ET

Kerry to Push for Cease-Fire as Gaza Death Toll Spikes

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is due to arrive in Egypt on Monday to push for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas after the death toll from the Gaza conflict rose above 500.

Speaking to CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday, the deadliest day of the war so far, Kerry said that the United States supports Egypt's initiative for a truce and "will work for a fair cease-fire."

The United States has "shown our willingness to try to deal with the underlying issues," but Hamas "must step up and show a level of reasonableness," he said.

"No country, no human being, is comfortable with children being killed, with people being killed, but we're not comfortable with Israeli soldiers being killed either or with people being rocketed in Israel," Kerry said.

In a meeting late Sunday, U.N. Security Council members expressed "serious concern about the growing number of casualties," according to the body's president, Ambassador Eugene-Richard Gasana of Rwanda.

The members urged "an immediate cessation of hostilities" based on the cease-fire that stopped the 2012 conflict between Israel and Hamas, he said.

But as clashes continued Monday, there was no sign that either side would heed the world body's calls.

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