Obama speaks by phone to Israel's prime minister as cease-fire headed toward expiration

The Associated Press
August 13, 2014 09:30 AM

EDGARTOWN, Mass. - President Barack Obama has consulted by telephone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a 72-hour cease-fire in the Gaza Strip neared expiration.

Obama foreign policy aide Ben Rhodes says Obama talked to Netanyahu Wednesday from his vacation home on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.

Senior Hamas member Izzat al-Rishq said that Hamas agreed to extend the truce for another 72 hours. Israeli officials had no immediate comment.

Since a temporary truce took effect Sunday, Israel has halted military operations in the coastal territory and Gaza militants have stopped firing rockets. The cease-fire expires at midnight and was meant to give the parties time to negotiate a more sustainable end to the month-long Israel-Hamas war and road map for the coastal Palestinian territory.

The White House says in a written statement that Obama reaffirmed U.S. support for Egypt's effort to mediate a lasting truce that satisfies both parties.

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