- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 10, 2014

As hostilities between Israelis and Palestinians continue, President Obama called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday and expressed concern about ‘further escalation’ of the conflict.

The White House said it is ready and willing to help facilitate an end to the violence and reinstitute a ceasefire, even though recent U.S. efforts to negotiate peace have ended in failure.

In their conversation, Mr. Obama told Mr. Netanyahu Israel is right to fight back against rocket attacks by the terrorist group Hamas and other organizations bent on killing Israelis.

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“The president … reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself against these attacks,” the White House said. “The president expressed concern about the rusk of further escalation and emphasized the need for all sides to do everything they can to protect the lives of civilians and restore calm.”

Mr. Obama also expressed condolences on the recent kidnappings and murders of teenagers Gilad Shaar, Eyal Yifrach and Naftali Fraenkel, the latter of whom was an American and Israeli citizen.