Istanbul, Turkey (CNN) - American journalist Steven Sotloff began his last journey into Syria with a surprise gift for his fixer, Yosef Abobaker. It was a small camera.
"Happy birthday!" Sotloff told his guide, whom Sotloff had befriended a year earlier by interviewing Abobaker's father about the Syrian civil war.
Then came the real surprise for the two men: about 15 masked ISIS gunmen jumped out of three cars and took them captive, beginning a dark tale that eventually led to Abobaker's release, but ended in Sotloff's beheading.
In an interview with CNN this week, Abobaker provided a detailed account of how he, Sotloff and three armed guards were abducted in Syria by ISIS fighters in August 2013, but since then, never once did U.S. officials try to interview Abobaker about his first-hand experience with ISIS and its captivity of Sotloff.
Gaza (CNN) - Hamas and Israel blamed one another Tuesday for the lack of a cease-fire in a conflict that has left more than 1,200 people dead, raising questions about just what it will take to end the fighting in Gaza.
International efforts to broker a deal to end the violence failed again, with Hamas rejecting a cease-fire proposal put forward by the Palestinian Authority that called for a 24-hour truce that could be extended to 72 hours. Hamas maintains that any deal must include an end to Israel's blockade of Gaza.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said any truce must allow for its protection against tunnels used by Palestinian militants in Gaza to make their way into Israel.
"Hamas is responsible for all deaths on their side and on our side because they are the ones who kept this conflict going," Mark Regev, a spokesman for Netanyahu, told CNN.