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Obama tells Netanyahu of concern Gaza fighting could escalate  

A picture taken from the southern Israeli Gaza border shows smoke billowing from buildings following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City, on July 10, 2014US President Barack Obama on Thursday told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu he was worried fierce fighting with Hamas in Gaza could escalate, and offered US help to broker a ceasefire. Obama spoke to the Israeli leader after Israeli warplanes pounded the Palestinian enclave but did not stop militants firing rockets at cities inside the Jewish state, and as global concern over rising Palestinian casualties mounted. “The president expressed concern about the risk of further escalation and emphasized the need for all sides to do everything they can to protect the lives of civilians and restore calm,” the White House said in a statement. The 2012 deal, brokered by former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Egypt, ended eight days of Israeli airstrikes on Hamas targets in a previous showdown.

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