Palestinian militants fire on Israel as Clinton heads to Mideast - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

UPDATE: Palestinian militants fire on Israel; Clinton heads to Middle East

Posted:
Courtesy: Susan Walsh/Associated Press Courtesy: Susan Walsh/Associated Press

JERUSALEM (WKOW) -- Palestinian militants fire a rocket toward Jerusalem, causing an explosion Tuesday.

Earlier in the day, Israel had said it would hold off on its ground attack into Gaza. But reports say a man identified as a top military commander of Hamas was urging the group's fighters to keep up attacks on Israel.

Air raid sirens sounded across Jerusalem Tuesday, then the blast could be heard in the distance. The rocket did not reach the city and authorities are still looking for the blast site.

Fighting broke out between Israel and Palestinian militants in Gaza last week and has killed more than 100 people so far, many of them civilians.

The latest rocket attack happened as diplomats are trying to work out a ceasefire. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is headed to the Middle East Tuesday to help with talks.

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WKOW) -- President Barack Obama has sent Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Middle East in hopes she can help bring an end to intense violence there.

Clinton is scheduled to arrive in Jerusalem Tuesday night. Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes says she'll meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, then with Palestinian officials in Ramallah. After that, Clinton will head to Cairo to meet with Egyptian leaders.

"It's in nobody's interest to see this escalate," Rhodes said during a press conference in Cambodia, where President Obama is attending a summit. Clinton was traveling with the President, and made a quick departure from Cambodia right after the announcement.

President Obama himself spoke with Netanyahu and Egyptian President Morsi Monday to try and de-escalate the violence. Rhodes says, "To date, we're encouraged by the cooperation and the consultation we've had with the Egyptian leadership. We want to see that, again, support a process that can de-escalate the situation. But again, the bottom line still remains that Hamas has to stop this rocket fire."

In the past week, the death toll in Gaza has surpassed 100, including women and children. Palestinian militant rockets are targeting Israel and Israeli drones and warplanes have unleashed missile strikes on Gaza.

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