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|Kerry sharpens criticism of Hamas|
|News - St Augustine Area & St Johns County|
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is stepping up efforts to forge a truce between Israel and the militant Hamas movement by sending Secretary of State John Kerry to the Middle East to bolster regional efforts to reach a ceasefire.
The State Department said Kerry would leave early Monday for Egypt where he will join diplomatic efforts for a truce.
Cairo has offered a cease-fire plan that is backed by the U.S. and Israel. But Hamas has rejected the Egyptian plan and is relying on governments in Qatar and Turkey for an alternative proposal.
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