Obama speaks by phone to Israel's prime minister as cease-fire heads toward expiration



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EDGARTOWN, Massachusetts — President Barack Obama has consulted by telephone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a 72-hour cease-fire in the Gaza Strip nears 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 has halted military operations in the coastal territory and Gaza militants have stopped firing rockets. The cease-fire expires at midnight 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.

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