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Secretary of State Clinton heading to Middle East

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GAZA CITY – Rockets and missiles continue to rain death upon the people of Gaza and Israel as diplomats try to bring an end to the killings and stop an all-out war.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon met with the secretary-general of the Arab League and plans to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton makes a stop in Israel, Ramallah, and Egypt to meet with Netanyahu, Abbas, and Egypt’s new President Morsi .

“Sometimes there’s no substitution for showing up as the Secretary herself likes to say, for talking face to face, for doing what you can in person and the president and she obviously thought that her going and sitting down with leaders, with Prime Minister Netanyahu, With President Abbas, and with President Morsi could help de-escalate this situation so it was obviously important to leave no stone unturned,” said State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland.

Meantime, the Israel Defense Forces released videos of their strike against a tunnel Israel claims Hamas used for smuggling, and the taking out of what they say was an armed underground launcher.

“We’re conducting these surgical ops. Against terrorists at a time when our own population is being bombarded by rocket attacks,” Netanyahu told a news conference. “Unfortunately Hamas and Islamic Jihad and the other terrorist groups do not share your concern about civilian casualties at all.  They’re deliberately and indiscriminately targeting our civilians.  And they deliberately hide behind their civilians.”

And as with every armed conflict, particularly in the Middle East, civilians make up the majority of the dead and wounded.