Gaza Violence Goes On as Officials Search for Cease-Fire
Israel's military continues to hit the Gaza Strip with airstrikes and tank fire, while Hamas rockets fly into Israel amid efforts to secure a ceasefire to end the fighting.
Palestinian health officials said the Israeli attacks killed at least 20 people early Thursday. They put the total death toll at 718 people since Israel began its campaign to halt Hamas rocket fire on July 8. Thirty-two Israeli soldiers have died.
The Israeli military reported multiple rockets being fired Thursday, including several it said were intercepted by its Iron Dome missile defense system.
Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Cairo as he continues to push for a cease-fire solution.
On Wednesday, he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon. He made no comments after those talks, but said earlier in the day that "some progress" had been made.
Australia Seeks to Secure Jet Crash Site in Ukraine
Australia has sent 50 police officers to London in anticipation of deploying them to eastern Ukraine to secure the Malaysian plane crash site as part of a proposed international team.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott said foreign ministers from Australia and The Netherlands will go to Kyiv to iron out the details of deploying such a team, under U.N. authority, to secure the crash site in rebel-held east Ukraine.
Meanwhile, two more planes were due to take off from Ukraine for the Netherlands, carrying dozens more victims of the shoot down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 last week.
Tens of thousands of mourners in the Netherlands held memorial services and ceremonies, as the first bodies from Flight MH17 arrived in the country on Wednesday. One hundred ninety-three of the victims were Dutch.
Earlier Thursday, Russia called on the United States to prove that the passenger jet was shot down by an SA-11 surface-to-air missile fired by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine. Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov asked the U.S. to produce proof that it has technical data and satellite photos to back the accusation.
U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded that a Russian SA-11 "Buk" missile downed the aircraft and that ill-trained rebels likely fired the missile believing the aircraft was Ukrainian.