American Secretary of State John Kerry believes that “progress” has been made for a truce in the deadly conflict between Hamas and Israel.

Secretary of State John Kerry reported Wednesday in Israel to “progress” in efforts for a truce to end the bloodshed in Gaza, while the Federal Agency of American aviation (FAA) lifted its ban on airlines flying to Israel.

According to Palestinian emergency services, 18 Palestinians, including children, were killed Thursday morning in the shelling of Gaza, bringing to at least 718 Palestinians dead stock of 16 days. During the same period, 34 Israelis soldiers and two civilians–32 were killed, and a Thai worker hit by a rocket on Wednesday. No rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israeli terriroire in the night Wednesday and Thursday, the army said.

While American efforts and UN chief Ban Ki-moon intensified to end the deadliest conflict between the two sides since 2009, Hamas reiterated its demand for a lifting of the Israeli blockade on Gaza for eight before any truce.

In Geneva, the Council of Human Rights of the United Nations has decided to send a mission to investigate possible “war crimes” committed by the Israeli army in Gaza and condemned the indiscriminate attacks of Hamas against civilian areas in Israel.

The Israeli offensive, launched on July 8 by airstrikes then extended to a ground operation, intended to neutralize the military capabilities of the Palestinian movement Hamas to power in Gaza, firing rockets that have again reached Israel.

“We have made ​​progress over the past 24 hours,” but there is still work to be done, said John Kerry who successively met Ban Ki-Moon in Jerusalem, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Kerry then left Tel Aviv to return to Cairo while Ban Ki-moon joined him Jeddah where he was received by the King of Saudi Arabia to discuss, among other things, “the situation in Gaza.”

To help in diplomatic efforts, the head of British diplomacy Philip Hammond met with Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah where he pleaded beyond a cease-fire to the establishment of “a sustainable solution for peace between Palestinians and Israelis. ”

If the international community agrees to denounce Hamas rocket attacks, critics multiply as against Israel, the shelling of Gaza by mostly civilian casualties in a strip of land 362 km2 crammed into misery 1 8 million souls subjected to an Israeli blockade since 2006.

Present at the UN meeting in Geneva, the Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad al-Malki, accused Israel of “perpetrating a crime against humanity.”

But Israel has denounced the decision of the Council of Human Rights, saying it should instead investigate “the decision of Hamas to transform hospitals in military command centers and schools in armories.”

For its part, the exiled leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal reiterated in Doha the conditions for a cease-fire. Hamas “has no objection” to mediation companies, including that of Egypt, provided to achieve “stopping the aggression and lift the blockade.” However, he said that he was in favor of “humanitarian truce” but is “not a way around” the claims of Hamas.

Faced with this dialogue of the deaf and despite intense diplomatic efforts, neither side seems willing to disarm. Israeli army, which records the heaviest losses since the war against Hezbollah in 2006, has prided itself successfully completed its operation.

In Gaza, in addition to ground combat, raids and tank fire were continuing with their daily casualties and destruction lot, according to emergency services, even if hostilities ceased a time to allow evacuation of the wounded.

Because of the chaos in Gaza, the overall result of more than 700 dead and several thousand wounded given by the spokesman of emergency services Ashraf al-Qoudra is difficult to verify.

This conflict, which prompted almost 110 000 inhabitants of Gaza to seek refuge in UN buildings, is the fourth between Israel and Hamas since the unilateral withdrawal of the army from Gaza in 2005.