Obama hails ceasefire in Gaza

  • Posted: Wednesday, November 21, 2012 1:22 p.m.
Smoke rises after an Israeli mobile artillery unit fired a shell from southern Israel towards the Gaza Strip, in a position a near the Israel Gaza border, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. Israel's prime minister says Israel would be a
Smoke rises after an Israeli mobile artillery unit fired a shell from southern Israel towards the Gaza Strip, in a position a near the Israel Gaza border, Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012. Israel's prime minister says Israel would be a "willing partner" in a cease-fire with Gaza's ruling militant group Hamas. Benjamin Netanyahu made the pronouncement Tuesday at a meeting with U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon, who is in the region as part of an international diplomatic push to end nearly a week of fighting between Israel and Hamas. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is hailing a ceasefire agreement to end a week of fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip.

The White House says Obama talked to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday and commended him for agreeing to the Egyptian ceasefire proposal, which the Obama had recommended the prime minister accept.

The deal would end a week of fighting that has killed more than 140 Palestinians and five Israelis.

The White House says the United States will use the opportunity offered by a ceasefire to intensify efforts to help Israel address its security needs, especially the smuggling of weapons and explosives into Gaza.

Obama also said he would seek more money for the Iron Dome defense system that has protected Israel from rocket attacks.

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