Israeli, Palestinian violence continues to escalate - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Israeli, Palestinian violence continues to escalate

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WASHINGTON -

Palestinians continue to fire rockets from Gaza, Israel continues to strike back -- and now U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will try to end this cycle of violence.

Air raid sirens continue to sound in Israel as civilians seek cover.  In Gaza, Palestinians fire more rockets as Israeli counterattacks hit target after target.

As the death toll mounts, Clinton will end her trip to Asia and head to the Middle East.

"This morning, Secretary Clinton and the President spoke, again, about the situation in Gaza and  they agreed that it makes sense for the secretary of travel to the region," said Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes.

But with Israel perhaps on the verge of mountain a ground invasion of Gaza, it's not clear what diplomatic solutions are possible.  Talks are underway in Egypt with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon calling for a cease-fire.

"A ground operation would be a dangerous escalation," he said.

Leaders of Hamas, who govern the West Bank, don't think Israel will follow through on threats to invade, but there are now tanks at the border.  For Clinton, the task is daunting -- she may encourage Israel to show restraint, but the U.S. will not deal directly with Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization -- leaving her with a delicate assignment.

Rhodes says, "To support a de-escalation of the violence and a durable outcome that ends the rocket attacks on Israeli cities and restores a broader calm in the region."

In the meantime, Israel's iron dome defense system has been able to take out rocket after rocket, but this is a numbers game and Palestinian rockets are getting better and better.

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