US reaches out to Arab leaders on Israel, Gaza fighting

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his envoy are reaching out to Palestinian and regional Arab leaders as attacks between Israel and Gaza’s Hamas rulers rage on. Tuesday’s contacts are part of what the Biden administration says is a “quiet, intensive diplomacy” approach. President Joe Biden, speaking to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, expressed general support for a cease fire but stopped short of joining dozens of Democratic lawmakers in demanding one. A ninth day of Israeli airstrikes and Hamas rocket fire has brought the overall death toll well over 200, most of those Palestinians.