Lucas Jackson, Associated Press
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a press conference addressed jointly with Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi, India, Thursday, July 31, 2014.

NEW DELHI — Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday there is "no promise" of a negotiated cease-fire between Israel and militants in the Gaza Strip, but he said the U.S. remains hopeful.

Kerry told reporters in the India capital Thursday that the sooner a cease-fire happens, the better.

"We've never stopped working toward the notion that a cease-fire at some point is essential," Kerry said. "Yes, the United States remains hopeful that it is achievable. And sooner is better, because of the needs to get to the table and begin negotiations that could ultimately, hopefully resolve issues.

"There's no promise in that — I want to make that clear — no promise in that," he said. "But I think everybody would feel better if there was a bona fide effort to try to see that out."

The violence is now in its fourth week and has killed over a thousand Palestinians living in Gaza and several dozen Israeli troops fighting there.