US president Barack Obama is sending Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Middle East in the hope that she can help mediate an end to the bloody conflict in the region.
A deputy White House national security adviser said Mrs Clinton will leave today from
Cambodia, where she has accompanied Mr
Obama on a visit to south-east Asia.
Mrs Clinton will begin her diplomacy by meeting Israeli prime minister
Benjamin Netanyahu in
Jerusalem. She also will meet Palestinian officials in
Ramallah before heading to
Cairo to meet leaders in
Israel has been firing rockets into the
Gaza Strip in an attempt to end months of rocket fire out of the
The US says Israel has a right to defend itself.