WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says President Barack Obama has spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi about rocket attacks being launched from Gaza into Israel and escalating violence in the Gaza Strip.
Israel carried out a blistering offensive of more than 50 airstrikes in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, assassinating Hamas' military commander in the most intense attack on the territory in nearly four years. Israel said the airstrikes, launched in response to days of rocket fire out of Hamas-ruled Gaza, were the beginning of a broader operation against Islamic militants.
The White House said Obama spoke to Netanyahu and Morsi Wednesday night and reiterated U.S. support for Israel's right to self-defense from attacks against civilians. Obama urged Israel to avoid civilian casualties in its response.