imageThe United States on Wednesday put the most direct pressure yet on its ally Israel to cut short its military campaign against Hamas in Gaza, but Secretary of State John F. Kerry did not get a deal from Israel or the Palestinians to stop the bloodshed. Despite a swirl of shuttle diplomacy, the war looked far from over Wednesday. Israeli leaders told their soldiers to prepare for an escalation inside the Gaza Strip, while the leader of Hamas vowed that his Islamist militant movement would not sign a permanent cease-fire until Israel ends its blockade of the coastal enclave. More