He urged Israel to allow the flow of aid and commerce into the Palestinian territory. "Our hearts go out to Palestinian civilians who are in need of immediate food, clean water and basic medical care," he said.
The crossings should be opened with an "appropriate monitoring," he said. Obama also said Hamas leaders, for their part, must put an end to rocket attacks.
The president said he will send former Sen. George Mitchell, who was appointed Thursday as special envoy for Middle East peace, to the region as soon as possible.