WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has again spoken to the leaders of Israel and Egypt as violence escalates in Gaza, and Israel is signaling a possible ground invasion.
Palestinian militants launched a rocket attack against Jerusalem for the first time Friday, as Israel pressed forward with a relentless campaign of airstrikes against Gaza.
The White House says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (neh-ten-YAH'-hoo) called Obama Friday to provide an update on the situation. He also expressed appreciation for the U.S. investment in the Iron Dome defense system, which is being used to defend Israel against rocket attacks.
Obama reiterated U.S. support for Israel's right to self-defense and discussed possible ways to scale back the conflict, according to the White House.
Separately, Obama called Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Friday and praised Egypt's efforts to ease tensions in the region.
In both calls, Obama expressed regret for the loss of civilian lives and underscored the importance of resolving the situation as quickly as possible.
Obama also spoke with the Israeli and Egyptian leaders on Wednesday.
249-r-06-(Sound of siren wailing in distance, as Jerusalem reacts to missiles fired from Gaza)--Sound of an air-raid siren wailing in the distance as Jerusalem braces against missiles fired from Gaza. COURTESY: Sky News ((mandatory on-air courtesy)) (16 Nov 2012)
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236-r-08-(Sound of men and women shouting, as they jostled with Israeli police after Friday prayers in the old sector of Jerusalem)--Sound of men and women shouting as they jostled with Israeli police after Friday prayers in the old city of Jerusalem. The confrontation occurred after Israeli police limited the people permitted to enter the prayers due to security concerns over the ongoing fighting between Gaza and Israel. (16 Nov 2012)
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237-r-06-(Sound of men chanting, in Tahrir Square)--Sound of men chanting in a Muslim Brotherhood-led protest in Tahrir Square. (16 Nov 2012)
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