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.
A rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip towards Israel is about to explode inside the Gaza Strip as seen from the border between Gaza strip and Southern Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has arrived in Cairo in her diplomatic push to forge a truce between Israel and Gaza rulers of Hamas. Her visit comes hours after a bomb exploded on an Israeli bus in Tel Aviv, wounding several. Clinton is looking to piece together a deal to end Israel's weeklong offensive in the Gaza Strip.(AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)×