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Conflict along the Gaza Strip

  • The President commended the Prime Minister for agreeing to the Egyptian ceasefire proposal – which the President recommended the Prime Minster do – while reiterating that Israel maintains the right to defend itself.

    The President said that the United States would use the opportunity offered by a ceasefire to intensify efforts to help Israel address its security needs, especially the issue of the smuggling of weapons and explosives into Gaza.

    - Excerpt from a readeout of President Obama's call to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, as distributed by the White House
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Iraqi security forces and Kurds gain ground against Islamic State

BAGHDAD/ARBIL Iraq - Iraqi government forces and Shi'ite militias seized control of the strategic town of Jurf al-Sakhar near Baghdad from Islamic State on Saturday and Kurdish fighters made gains in the north after heavy coalition air strikes against the Sunni militants.