US welcomes Egypt's cease-fire plan for Israel

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is welcoming a cease-fire plan proposed by Egypt to end heavy fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

White House spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan says the U.S. hopes the plan will lead to calm being restored as soon as possible. She says escalation won't benefit Israelis or Palestinians.

Meehan says the U.S. will work to promote a return to the cease-fire reached in 2012.

The State Department says Secretary of State John Kerry has been working closely with Israeli, Palestinian and Egyptian leaders during the conflict. Kerry is expected in the region Tuesday.

Egypt's offer marks the first sign of a breakthrough in international efforts to end the conflict. At least 185 people have died. Both sides say they're seriously considering the proposal.

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