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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Former NBA player Dennis Rodman erupted with anger on "New Day" Tuesday.
In an exclusive interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo, Rodman defended his controversial visit to North Korea with a team of former NBA players, saying it was a "great idea for the world."
From the capital, Pyongyang, Rodman reacted angrily when pressed on whether the group should have traveled there given recent events in the secretive country.
Rodman said: "I don't give a rat's ass what the hell you think. I'm saying to you, look at these guys here, look at them ... they dared to do one thing, they came here."
The other former NBA players are due to take part in a controversial basketball game on the birthday of Kim Jong Un, the country's young, unpredictable leader. The friendly contest with North Korea's team is planned for Wednesday, when Kim is believed to turn 31.
Apparently referring to Kim, Rodman said, "I love my friend. This is my friend."
See part one of the interview above
Amid increasing optimism that a deal could be within reach, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabious are heading to Geneva to help in negotiations over Iran's nuclear program.
Kerry will fly to Geneva on Friday "in an effort to help narrow differences in negotiations" with Iran, two senior State Department officials said. European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton invited Kerry to the talks, the officials said.
News of travel plans for Kerry and Fabious came hours after Iran's foreign minister said that officials could reach an agreement by Friday evening, CNN's Jim Sciutto reports.
"I believe it is possible to reach an understanding or an agreement before we close these negotiations (Friday) evening," Iran's foreign minister and chief nuclear negotiator, Javad Zarif, told CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
Though he would not detail what such an agreement could include, he told the state-run Iranian News Agency, "We expect to make a breakthrough."
U.S. President Barack Obama also said Thursday night that a deal could be reached.
There is the "possibility of a phased agreement" with Iran on nuclear issues, Obama told NBC. The first step, if agreed upon, would require Iran to halt advances in its nuclear program in return for "very modest relief" from economic sanctions, he said.
But the United States would still keep "core sanctions" in place, Obama said.
Former Democratic Congresswoman Jane Harman explained the perspective of Israel in these negotiations on "New Day" Friday. Harman said:
“It’s true the Israeli’s are skeptical, but of course they’re going to be skeptical, Iran is an existential threat to Israel and they have to be able to protect themselves. But John Kerry has 25 years of experience dealing with Benjamin Netanyahu, who is not the only leader in Israel who has an opinion about this. Lots of others think this is a good first step.”
SEE FULL INTERVIEW: