President Barack Obama is sending Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to the Middle East in hopes that she can help mediate an end to bloody conflict in the region.

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton (L) listens alongside Aung San Suu Kyi as US President Barack Obama speaks at the University of Yangon during his Asian trip. (Paula Bronstein/Getty Images)

A deputy White House national security adviser says Clinton will leave today from Cambodia, where she's been with Obama on a visit to Southeast Asia.

Clinton will begin her Mideast diplomacy by meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. She also will meet with Palestinian officials in Ramallah before heading to Cairo to meet with leaders in Egypt.

Israel has been firing rockets into the Gaza Strip in an attempt to end months of rocket fire out of the Hamas-ruled territory.

The U.S. says Israel has a right to defend itself.

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