US: Israel must do more to protect Gaza civilians


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says Israel must do more to prevent civilian casualties in Gaza as the two sides consider a tenuous cease fire agreement in the latest outbreak of Mideast violence.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki (SAH'-kee) on Thursday described as "horrifying" an Israeli attack a day earlier that killed four boys on a Gaza beach.

She said Israel must live up to its own standards of demanding that civilians not be targeted in the cross-border attacks.

More than 200 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since Israel began launching airstrikes on the territory in response to hundreds of rocket attacks from Hamas militants and other Palestinian groups.

The U.S. has been pushing a plan for a cease fire that is being proposed by Egypt.

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