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Washington's top diplomat said global efforts to end 16 days of bloodshed in Gaza were progressing Wednesday as the Palestinian death toll rose to 700 and airlines kept flights to Israel suspended over rocket fears. As US and UN diplomats continued intensive diplomacy, the Islamist Hamas movement rejected any truce without the lifting of Israel's eight-year blockade on Gaza. "We will not accept any initiative that does not lift the blockade on our people and that does not respect their sacrifices," Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said. Hamas hailed the suspension of Tel Aviv flights by many world airlines as a "great victory."