* Clinton seeks ceasefire deal and "broader calm"
* Goes to Egypt, main truce broker, for ceasefire talks
* Israel says wants long-term deal to end rocket strikes
* Ten wounded in Tel Aviv bus blast
GAZA/JERUSALEM, Nov 21 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton on Wednesday pursued a Gaza truce, with Israel
and Hamas still at odds over key terms, as Israeli air strikes
shook the enclave and a bomb exploded on a Tel Aviv bus.
After talks in Ramallah with Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas, Clinton held a second meeting with Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu before travelling to Egypt for discussions
with President Mohamed Mursi, whose country is the main broker
in efforts to end eight days of fighting.
In Tel Aviv, targeted by rockets from Gaza that either did
not hit the city or were shot down by Israel's Iron Dome
interceptor system, 15 people were wounded when a commuter bus
was blown up near the Defence Ministry and military
Israel and the United States branded it a terrorist attack,
and a White House statement reaffirmed Washington's "unshakeable
commitment to Israel's security".
The explosion, which police said was caused by a bomb placed
on the vehicle, touched off celebratory gunfire from militants
in Gaza and threatened to complicate truce efforts.
Israel's best-selling Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper said an
emerging outline of a ceasefire agreement called for Egypt to
announce a 72-hour ceasefire followed by further talks on
Under the proposed document, which the newspaper said
neither party would be required to sign, Israel would hold its
fire, end attacks against top militants and promise to examine
ways to ease its blockade of Gaza, controlled by Hamas Islamists
who do not recognise the Jewish state's right to exist.
Hamas, the report said, would pledge not to strike any
Israeli target and ensure other Palestinian factions in the Gaza
Strip also stop their attacks.
An Israeli political source said differences holding up a
deal centred on a Hamas demand to lift the Gaza blockade
completely and the kind of activity that would be allowed along
the frontier, where Israeli troops often fire into the enclave
to keep Palestinians away from an area near a border fence.
Hamas official Ezzat al-Rishq said the main stumbling block
was "the temporary timeframe for a ceasefire that the Israelis
want us to agree to".
While diplomatic efforts continued, Israel struck more than
100 targets in Gaza, including a cluster of Hamas government
buildings, in attacks that medical officials said killed 10
people, among them a 2-year-old boy.
Palestinians militants fired more than 30 rockets at Israel,
causing no casualties, and the Iron Dome interceptor system shot
down 14 of them, police said.
Israel has carried out more than 1,500 strikes since the
offensive began with the killing of a top Hamas commander and
with declared aim of deterring Hamas from launching rocket
attacks that have long disrupted life in its southern towns.
Medical officials in Gaza said 144 Palestinians, more than
half of them civilians, including 36 children, have been killed
in Israel's offensive. Nearly 1,400 rockets have been fired into
Israel, killing four civilians and a soldier, the military said.
The London-based Al Hayat newspaper, citing sources in Hamas
and Islamic Jihad, said Israel wanted a 90-day period to
determine "good intentions" before discussing Palestinian
demands, a position the report said the groups have rejected.
Rishq said a short-term truce, whose proposed duration he
did not disclose, "would only buy (Israel) time" until a general
election in January and "we would have accomplished nothing in
the way of a long-term truce".
Hamas sources said the group was also demanding control over
Gaza's Rafah borders with Egypt, so that Palestinians could
cross easily, and Israeli guarantees to stop assassinating Hamas
Israel, one of the Hamas sources said, wanted a commitment
from the group to stop smuggling through tunnels that run into
Gaza under the Egyptian border. The tunnel network is a conduit
for weapons and commercial goods.
News of the Tel Aviv bus bombing, the first serious blast in
Israel's commercial capital since 2006, caused oil prices to
rise by more than $1 per barrel on concerns the Gaza crisis
could lead to wider regional conflict that would disrupt oil
Clinton, who flew to the region from an Asian summit, said
after Tuesday's meeting with Netanyahu that it was "essential to
de-escalate the situation".
"The rocket attacks from terrorist organisations inside Gaza
on Israeli cities and towns must end and a broader calm
restored," she said.
Clinton earlier assured Netanyahu of "rock-solid" U.S.
support for Israel's security, and praised Mursi's "personal
leadership and Egypt's efforts thus far" to end the Gaza
conflict and promote regional stability.
"As a regional leader and neighbour, Egypt has the
opportunity and responsibility to continue playing a crucial and
constructive role in this process. I will carry this message to
Cairo tomorrow (Wednesday)," she said, pledging to work for a
truce "in the days ahead".
Netanyahu told Clinton he wanted a "long-term" solution.
Failing that, Netanyahu made clear, that he stood ready to step
up the military campaign to silence Hamas' rockets.
"A band-aid solution will only cause another round of
violence," said Ofir Gendelman, a Netanyahu spokesman.
Along the Gaza border, Israeli tanks, artillery and infantry
remained poised for a possible ground offensive in the densely
populated enclave of 1.7 million Palestinians.
But an invasion, likely to entail heavy casualties, would be
a major political risk for Netanyahu, who is currently favoured
to win the upcoming Israeli election. More than 1,400
Palestinians were killed in Israel's three-week war in the Gaza
Strip in 2008-9, prompting international criticism of Israel.
In the West Bank city of Ramallah, Clinton held talks with
Palestinian President Abbas, reiterating U.S. opposition to his
bid to upgrade the Palestinians' status at the United Nations.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Washington
believed "the best way to achieve statehood is through direct
bilateral negotiations". Those talks collapsed in 2010 in a
dispute over Israeli settlement building in the West Bank.
"Secretary Clinton informed the president that the U.S
administration is exerting every possible effort to reach an
immediate ceasefire and the president expressed his full support
for this endeavour," said Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb
"Once the Israelis accept to stop their bombardments, their
assassinations, there will be a comprehensive ceasefire
sustained from all parties," Erekat said.
A Palestinian official with knowledge of Cairo's mediation
told Reuters that Egyptian intelligence officials would hold
further discussions on Wednesday with leaders of Hamas and the
Islamic Jihad group.