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US sees 'progress' in Gaza truce bid

An Israeli artillery gun fires a 155 mm shell towards targets in the Gaza Strip from their position near Israel's border on July 31, 2014US Secretary of State John Kerry has “made some progress” in complicated talks to try to reach a ceasefire in Gaza, his department said Thursday. She refused to be drawn further, including whether the US was still trying to put in place a 24-hour truce or something longer, nor would she be drawn on how much longer the negotiations would take. International concern is mounting over the death toll in Gaza, where 1,437 people have been killed in 24 days of violence and the extent of the destruction. The top US diplomat had spoken numerous times Thursday with his Qatari counterpart, as well as with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the UN special envoy for the Middle East Robert Serry.

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