Israeli warplanes kept up deadly raids on Gaza July 11 but failed to stop Palestinian militants firing rockets across the border, as the United States offered to help negotiate a truce.
With the violence growing worse, U.S. President Barack Obama in a phone call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his government was willing to broker a ceasefire.
Germany took the dramatic step Thursday of asking the top U.S. intelligence official in Berlin to leave the country, following two suspected cases of American spying and the yearlong spat over eavesdropping by the National Security Agency.
The move reflects growing impatience in Germany at what is perceived as U.S. nonchalance about being caught spying on a close ally.
The United States came out Thursday against a call by Iraq's Kurdish leader for an independence referendum, saying the country could only repel Islamic State radicals by staying united.
Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani earlier told parliament to make preparations for a "referendum on the right of self-determination."
Obama and Saudi king discuss "ISIL threat"
WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Barack Obama and Saudi King Abdullah have discussed the current situation in Iraq in a telephone conversation.
According to the White House, they spoke about "the threat that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) poses to the stability of Iraq and to the entire region."
Syrian fighter jets bombed positions of Islamist insurgents near the border with Iraq.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki backs actions of Damascus against the militants led by Sunni extremist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) who control significant parts of the country's territory and also have some gains in Syria.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip ErdoÄan and U.S. Vice President Joe Biden agreed on the necessity of the formation of a unified government in Iraq during a phone conversation on June 23.
The talks come at a time when Iraqi Kurds are moving away from Baghdad, as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) threat continues.