Obama speaks to Israel, Egypt leaders about Gaza violence

WASHINGTON Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:29pm EST

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WASHINGTON Nov 14 (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi on Wednesday and reiterated U.S. support for Israel's right to self-defense in light of rocket attacks from Gaza, the White House said.

Obama spoke to the leaders about the rocket attacks being launched from Gaza into Israel and the escalating violence in Gaza, the White House said in a statement.

"The President urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to make every effort to avoid civilian casualties. The two agreed that Hamas needs to stop its attacks on Israel to allow the situation to de-escalate," the statement said.

"The President also spoke with President Mursi given Egypt's central role in preserving regional security. In their conversation, President Obama condemned the rocket fire from Gaza into Israel and reiterated Israel's right to self-defense," it said.

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