By Edith M. Lederer for the Associated Press

19 July 2014

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will leave Saturday for the Middle East to help end the conflict in Gaza between Israel and Hamas, the U.N. political chief said Friday.

The U.N. chief has been on the phone with many leaders since the beginning of the conflict trying to bring an end to the violence. His new diplomatic initiative follows a failed attempt by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to broker a return to the 2012 Israeli-Hamas cease-fire and Thursday’s launch of an Israeli ground offensive in Gaza.

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