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Hillary heads to West Asia

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton travelled to West Asia on Tuesday to meet with officials in Israel, the West Bank and Egypt to discuss ongoing violence in Gaza, White House officials said.

world Updated: Nov 21, 2012 00:28 IST

US secretary of state Hillary Clinton travelled to West Asia on Tuesday to meet with officials in Israel, the West Bank and Egypt to discuss ongoing violence in Gaza, White House officials said.

Clinton will not meet with Hamas, which the US does not recognise diplomatically, but rather with leaders of the Palestinian Authority, the officials said. Clinton cut short her stay in Phnom Penh, where she is taking part in the East Asia Summit with President Obama, and headed for hastily arranged meetings with leaders in Jerusalem, Ramallah and Cairo.

She will "emphasise the United States' interest in a peaceful outcome that protects and enhances Israel's security and regional stability," said Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications.

Hours before Clinton was due to arrive in Israel, police and ambulances were called to the US embassy in Tel Aviv after a man armed with a knife and an ax attacked a guard around 11:30 am, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

The guard, stationed at the seaside entrance of the embassy was "lightly injured," the spokesman said. The guard shot "warning shots," Rosenfeld said, but no one else was wounded. "He is now being questioned," he said. "We are questioning him about what his motives were."