Obama appeals to Israel, Hamas to maintain cease-fire

January 22, 2009 22:39

President Barack Obama is calling on Israel and Hamas to take steps aimed at ensuring that the cease-fire that is in place in Gaza will endure. Weighing in on the conflict for the first time following his inauguration, Obama called on Hamas to end rocket fire at Israel, and for Israel to complete the pullout of forces from Gaza. He said his administration will support a "credible" system of ending smuggling into Gaza. Obama said he's "deeply concerned" by the loss of life among both Israelis and Palestinians, and by the suffering taking place in Gaza. He said his heart goes out to civilians who are going without food, water or medical care. He said Gaza's borders should be opened to allow aid to come in, with "appropriate monitoring."

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