Obama calls Netanyahu over violence in Israel

President Obama spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday to emphasize "strong condemnation" by the U.S. of the ongoing rocket fire in Israel by Hamas and other terrorist organizations. 

On the call, Obama reiterated Israel's right to defend itself against the attacks, according to a White House readout of the call. 

Obama also "expressed concern about the risk of further escalation" in violence "and emphasized the need for all sides to do everything they can to protect the lives of civilians and restore calm," according to a White House readout. 

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The White House said the U.S. remained prepared to "facilitate a cessation of hostilities," including a return to the November 2012 ceasefire agreement.

The two leaders — who have had their share of disagreements in the past — also discussed the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers as well as the arrest of the suspects in the abduction and murder of a Palestinian teenager, and "expressed appreciation" for Netanyahu's "determination" that they will be brought to justice.  

During the conversation, Obama also discussed his concerns about the beating and detention of a teenage American citizen and "acknowledged Israel's efforts to resolve the case." Obama and Netanyahu, also spoke about the P5+1 negotiations with Iran and Obama repeated that the U.S. "would not accept any agreement that does not ensure that Iran's nuclear program is for exclusively peaceful purposes."