President Obama urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by phone Sunday to declare an “immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities.”
The demands come after a weekend in which Israel twice declared a cease fire, only to have Hamas continue its attacks.
The President also urged a solution that strengthens the Palestinian Authority, days after the PA had endorsed Hamas’ attacks on Israel and its demands for cease fire conditions.
White House pressures Israel to stop fighting back
In a release, the White House said,
Building on Secretary Kerry’s efforts, the President made clear the strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement. The President reaffirmed the United States’ support for Egypt’s initiative, as well as regional and international coordination to end hostilities. The President underscored the enduring importance of ensuring Israel’s security, protecting civilians, alleviating Gaza’s humanitarian crisis, and enacting a sustainable ceasefire that both allows Palestinians in Gaza to lead normal lives and addresses Gaza’s long-term development and economic needs, while strengthening the Palestinian Authority. The President stressed the U.S. view that, ultimately, any lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict must ensure the disarmament of terrorist groups and the demilitarization of Gaza.