US State Department seeks three-tier cease-fire for Gaza violence

The Bush administration is pressing for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip that would include three main elements, including a halt to Hamas rocket firing into Israel, a US State Department spokesman told reporters Monday. Spokesman Sean McCormack said that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had been working the phones with numerous foreign leaders in pursuit of such a cease-fire agreement, but that much detailed work remained. In addition to halting the rocket fire from Gaza, McCormack said, the proposed cease-fire would include an arrangement for reopening crossing points on the border with Israel. The third element would entail addressing the issue of tunnels into Gaza from Egypt through which Hamas has smuggled a variety of materials, including arms.