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US: Obama urges Israel open Gaza border crossings to aid

23 Jan 2009 7:45 AM

US President BARACK OBAMA has called on Israel to open Gaza border crossings to aid and commerce .. as part of a lasting ceasefire following the conflict with Hamas.

In his first major comments on the Middle East conflict since his inauguration .. OBAMA's called for a monitoring regime involving the Palestinian Authority and the international community.

He says relief efforts must be able to reach innocent Palestinians who depend on them .. and that he's deeply concerned about the loss of civilian life in the conflict.

But the president's added Hamas must stop firing rockets into Israeli territory .. and that he's fervently committed to Israel's security.