Thursday, January 22, 2009

Obama: U.S. will actively seek peace between Israel, Palestinians

President Barack Obama weighed in Thursday on the conflict between Israel and Hamas, urging Israel to open Gaza border crossings and telling the Islamic fundamentalist organization to stop rocket fire into the Jewish state.

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.

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