Obama wishes Netanyahu, Israelis a 'happy holiday'

As Pessah sets off, US president tells PM he is preparing for own White House Seder; Netanyahu thanks Obama for Iron Dome funding.

Obama's Seder_311 (photo credit: Reuters)
Obama's Seder_311
(photo credit: Reuters)
US President Barack Obama on Monday wished Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and the people of Israel a happy holiday ahead of the beginning of Pessah.
Obama spoke to Netanyahu over the phone Monday afternoon and told him he was also expected to attend a White House Pessah Seder later in the evening with representatives of the Jewish community.
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During their conversation, Netanyahu thanked Obama for the approval of a new budget for the Iron Dome system, and the president expressed satisfaction over the system proving effective against rocket fire from Gaza.
Obama also expressed his gratitude to Netanyahu over the way he handled the recent escalation in Gaza.
The two leaders also discussed other political issues and are expected to be in contact again in the coming days.
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US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said last week that Obama is expected to lay out  a new US policy toward the Middle East and North Africa in the coming weeks.

Last week, Obama also sent his "warmest wishes to all those celebrating the sacred festival of Passover," comparing Pessah's keystone liberation and freedom themes with the current changes sweeping across the Middle East, the Chicago Sun-Times quoted a message from the US president as saying.
The US president associated the Pessah theme of liberation and freedom to the recent "social transformation" occurring across the Middle East, saying he prays for Israel and its neighbors, while "reaffirming our enduring commitment to Israel's security."