Obama commends Netanyahu on ceasefire pledge

WASHINGTON Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:00pm EST

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and commended him for agreeing to the Egyptian government's ceasefire plan in the Middle East, the White House said.

Israel and Hamas agreed on Wednesday to a ceasefire brokered by Egypt to end eight days of fighting in the Gaza Strip that has killed more than 140 Palestinians and five Israelis.

"The president expressed his appreciation for the Prime Minister's efforts to work with the new Egyptian government to achieve a sustainable ceasefire and a more durable solution to this problem," a White House statement said.

Obama reiterated his commitment to Israel's security and also said he was committed to seeking funds for joint missile defense programs.

(Reporting By Margaret Chadbourn; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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