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Obama calls Netanyahu, Morsi to discuss violence in Israel, Gaza

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  • **FILE** Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (second left) is surrounded by bodyguards as he walks towards a military helicopter following a visit to the Golan Heights on Nov. 14, 2012. (Associated Press)**FILE** Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (second left) is surrounded by bodyguards as he walks towards a military helicopter following a visit to the Golan Heights on Nov. 14, 2012. (Associated Press)
  • **FILE** The Iron Dome defense system fires to intercept incoming missiles from Gaza in the port town of Ashdod on Nov. 15, 2012. (Associated Press)**FILE** The Iron Dome defense system fires to intercept incoming missiles from Gaza in the port town of Ashdod on Nov. 15, 2012. (Associated Press)
  • **FILE** Israeli soldiers stand on an armored personnel carrier close to the Gaza border in Israel on Nov. 15, 2012. (Associated Press)**FILE** Israeli soldiers stand on an armored personnel carrier close to the Gaza border in Israel on Nov. 15, 2012. (Associated Press)
  • **FILE** An Israeli solider rides atop an armored personnel carrier near the Gaza border in Israel on Nov. 15, 2012. (Associated Press)**FILE** An Israeli solider rides atop an armored personnel carrier near the Gaza border in Israel on Nov. 15, 2012. (Associated Press)
  • **FILE** Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media at Hakirya military base in Tel Aviv on Nov. 14, 2012. (Associated Press)**FILE** Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media at Hakirya military base in Tel Aviv on Nov. 14, 2012. (Associated Press)

In the middle of his three-day trip to Southeast Asia, President Obama on Monday took time out to call Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Morsi to discuss ways to try to ramp down violence in Israel and Gaza.

The president phoned Mr. Netanyahu to get an update on the rocket strikes between Israel and Gaza and expressed regret for the loss of Israeli and Palestinian civilian lives, according to a White House readout of the conversation.

During his call to Mr. Morsi, Mr. Obama emphasized the necessity of Hamas ending rocket fire into Israel and offered condolences for the lives lost in a train accident over the weekend in Egypt, the White House said in a release.

A speeding train crashed into a school bus Saturday, killing 51 people, mostly children, outside the city of Assiut, Egypt. The accident prompted angry protests and accusations from Egyptians that Mr. Morsi is not doing enough to overhaul the former regime’s legacy of neglect.

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About the Author

Susan Crabtree

Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at scrabtree@washingtontimes.com.

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