Obama, Rice discuss Israel's strikes against Hamas
U.S. President-elect Barack Obama spoke with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Saturday about Israel's strikes against the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, which have left about 270 people dead, CNN reported on Sunday.
"The president-elect appreciated the call and the information from Secretary Rice. ... He will continue to closely monitor these and other global events," CNN quoted one of Obama's aides, adding that Obama initiated the eight-minute phone call.
Reports here said the Israeli air forces continued early on Sunday strikes on different Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, leaving 271 people killed and some 700 others wounded since Saturday.
Ahead of the phone call to Obama, Rice said in a statement that the United States "strongly condemns the repeated rocket and mortar attacks against Israel and holds Hamas responsible for breaking the cease-fire and for the renewal of violence in Gaza."
"The cease-fire should be restored immediately," she added. "The United States calls on all concerned to address the urgent humanitarian needs of the innocent people of Gaza."
The White House said that President George W. Bush, who is at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, on Christmas vacation, has discussed the Middle East situation with Rice and received briefing on the Israeli air strikes from his national security adviser Stephen Hadley.