Israeli soldier missing; Delta cancels flights to country

Delta Airlines has canceled all flights to Israel indefinitely, citing a report of a rocket near the Tel Aviv airport, according to The Associated Press.

CNN reports that U.S. Airways and American Airlines have made the same decision.

A rocket fired by Hamas into Israel hit a town near Ben-Gurion International Airport, injuring two people.

A Delta Boeing 747 from New York was flying over the Mediterranean headed for Tel Aviv on Tuesday when it turned around and flew to Paris instead. Flight 468 had 273 passengers and 17 crew on board, according to the AP.

This comes after weeks of fighting, as Israel pounds the Gaza Strip with rounds of shells.

Hamas, the dominant group in the Gaza Strip, continues to fire rockets into Israel.

The fighting in recent days has claimed more than 600 Palestinian and 29 Israeli lives, according to wire reports. The majority are civilian deaths.

An Israeli soldier, identified by military officials unauthorized to speak to media as Sgt. Oron Shaul, was among seven soldiers in a vehicle that was hit by an anti-tank missile in a battle in Gaza over the weekend. The other six have been confirmed as dead, but no remains have been identified as Shaul, the officials told the AP.

Israel has said no ceasefire is near, despite international diplomats pursuing talks on halting the fighting.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is holding discussions in neighboring Egypt, and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has flown to Israel to see Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Ban Ki-moon is set to meet the Palestinian Prime Minister Wednesday.

The Palestinian U.N. envoy says a draft U.N. resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire in the Gaza Strip will be formally circulated to the Security Council, according to AP.

A draft dated July 18 and obtained by the AP calls for "an immediate, durable and fully respected cease-fire, including the withdrawal of Israeli occupying forces from the Gaza Strip."

It also calls for "all necessary measures to ensure the protection of civilians, including the immediate cessation of military reprisals, collective punishment and excessive use of force against the Palestinian civilian population."

Israel launched its offensive July 8 to halt missile salvoes out of Gaza by Hamas, which was angered by a crackdown on its supporters in the occupied West Bank and suffering economic hardship because of an Israeli-Egyptian blockade.

Kerry held talks on Tuesday in Cairo with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri, seeking a ceasefire, according to Reuters.

"There is a framework ... to end the violence and that framework is the Egyptian initiative," Kerry said at a joint news conference with Shukri.

"For the sake of thousands of innocent families whose lives have been shaken and destroyed by this conflict, on all sides, we hope we can get there as soon as possible," he said.

Information from Reuters and The Associated Press was used in this report.
 

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