US national security officer calls on Turkey and Egypt to pressure Hamas
Deputy National Security Advisor to the White House Ben Rhodes has called on Turkey and Egypt to lean on Hamas to de-escalate tension.

Answering questions at a press conference, Rhodes said "they urged those that have a degree of influence with Hamas such as Turkey, and Egypt and some of their European partners to use that influence to urge Hamas to de-escalate". He said their concern was, obviously, that Israel must be secure from those types of attacks and that, also, as that situation continued to unfold, it was only going to pose a greater threat to civilians and risk continued conflict in the region.
Rhodes said that threats of rocket attacks from Gaza to Israel were unacceptable and Israel had the right to defend itself.
He said they were very sorry about the casualties and they promoted any step which would avert civilian deaths. He said that all the responsibility was on Hamas on de-escalating the tension in the region.
Rhodes said they would be in close contact with Israel about its future plans and added that the US Department of State was in contact with involving actors.
Rhodes said that US President Barack Obama talked to Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi separately.
Obama spoke on Wednesday by telephone with Netanyahu and urged him to "make every effort to avoid civilian casualties" while stressing Israel's right to defend itself from Hamas' attacks, the White House said
Last Modified: 2012-11-16 11:21:56
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