Kerry says US working to de-escalate crisis in Israel, Gaza, backs Israel's right to defend



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BEIJING — Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. is trying to stem the surging violence in Israel and Gaza in a way that allows the Jewish state to continue defending itself from Hamas rocket fire.

Kerry, in Beijing for a summit with Chinese leaders, says it's a "dangerous moment" for the Mideast.

Hundreds of rockets have been fired from Gaza since the killings of three Israeli and one Palestinian teenagers sparked tensions. Dozens of Palestinians have died in Israeli attacks.

Kerry says no country can accept such rocket attacks.

But he says de-escalating the crisis is ultimately in everyone's interests.

Kerry says he spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The goal, he says, is to see if there is some way to restore peace.

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