[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/28/mitchell.mideast/art.mitchell.afp.gi.jpg caption="George Mitchell, right, meets with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and President Obama on Monday."] JERUSALEM (CNN) - President Obama's newly appointed envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, arrived in Israel on Wednesday as part of a new U.S. effort to work toward a broader peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Israel's Foreign Ministry confirmed Mitchell arrived in Tel Aviv, and will head to Jerusalem shortly.
Hours before his arrival, Israeli missiles struck several smuggling tunnels along Gaza's southern border with Egypt in response to the killing of an Israeli soldier a day earlier near the Kissufim crossing, the Israeli military said.
One of Israel's key demands in peace talks has been international help shutting down tunnels into Gaza that Israel says Hamas fighters use to smuggle weapons into the territory. Hamas - which is considered a terrorist organization by the United States and Israel - controls Gaza.