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Hillary Clinton heads to Middle East to help negotiate Israel-Gaza truce

Hillary Clinton is en route to the Middle East to join efforts to secure a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

Hillary Clinton obama mideastEnlarge
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) listens as US President Barack Obama (C) speaks during a bilateral meeting with Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda (not pictured) on the sidelines of the East Asian Summit at the Peace Palace in Phnom Penh on November 20, 2012. (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton is en route to the Middle East to join efforts to secure a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.

For the past six days, Israel has been firing missiles into the Gaza Strip in an offensive aimed at stopping rocket fire from militants inside the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory.

More from GlobalPost: Trapped in Gaza

The tit-for-tat rocket fire has killed more than 100 Palestinians — many of them civilians — and three Israelis, and wounded hundreds more. 

Secretary of State Clinton is expected to arrive in Israel on Tuesday night and meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, the Jerusalem Post reported, citing a source. 

President Barack Obama sent Clinton from Cambodia, where she had joined the president for meetings with Asian leaders.

The White House said that aside from her meeting with Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Clinton would meet with Palestinian officials in Ramallah and Egyptian leaders in Cairo, according to the Associated Press.

Talks are already under way in Cairo involving UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby. 

Ban on Tuesday called for an immediate cease-fire, and warned that while Israel has "legitimate security concerns" a ground operation — would be a "dangerous escalation" that would "only result in further tragedy."

Ban spoke at a news conference in Cairo. The UN secretary-general was set to travel to Israel later on Tuesday for talks with Netanyahu.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/israel-and-palestine/121120/hillary-clinton-gaza-israel-hamas-missiles-israeli-jerusalem