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Obama talks to Israel’s Netanyahu as cease-fire expires

EDGARTOWN, Mass. — President Barack Obama consulted by telephone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a 72-hour cease-fire in the Gaza Strip neared expiration.

Obama foreign policy aide Ben Rhodes says Obama talked to Netanyahu Wednesday from his vacation home on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

Palestinian negotiators are weighing an Egyptian proposal to end the monthlong Israel-Hamas war. Since a temporary truce took effect Sunday, Israel had halted military operations in the coastal territory and Gaza militants have stopped firing rockets. The cease-fire expired at midnight local time and was meant to give the parties time to negotiate a more sustainable truce and road map for the coastal territory.

The White House says in a written statement that Obama reaffirmed U.S. support for Egypt’s effort to mediate a lasting truce that satisfies both parties.

The Israeli military reported that shortly before the cease-fire was set to end, at least three rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza.

The AP reports from Jerusalem that the rocket fire came as Palestinian officials said that Hamas had agreed to extend the cease-fire with Israel for five days.

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