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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

On the Next Episode of The Lead

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July 10th, 2014
06:17 PM ET

Will the U.S play a prominent role in Israeli-Palestinian talks?

(CNN) – This week, President Obama wrote in an Israeli newspaper op-ed that peace between Israelis and Palestinians is necessary, and still possible.

But can the U.S. still play a prominent role in that process?

Secretary of State John Kerry has been on the phone, he spoke to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, he spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday.

"We're very engaged with the parties, the secretary's also been in touch with leaders in the region, including the Khuddaris, the Egyptians," said State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki. "He's in touch with anyone who can play a role in influencing Hamas, and bringing an end to the indiscriminate rocket attacks that are going into Israel."

If Hamas stopped firing rockets into Israel, would that bring an end to the current crisis in the Middle East?

"Deescalating the tension on the ground is certainly in the interest of everyone. And Hamas is the aggressor here, in terms of their effort to send rocket attacks to Israel, Israel has the right to defend themselves and has every right to protect their people," said Psaki.

"There's no reason to be responsive if there aren't rocket attacks coming into Israel," she said.

For more of our interview with the State Department's Jen Psaki, check out the video above.

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