Washington: US President Barack Obama
called up Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu during which the two leaders discussed the Middle East peace process and
counter-terrorism co-operation between the two countries.
"The two leaders also discussed US-Israeli cooperation
on counter-terrorism, how best to move forward in efforts to
advance Middle East peace, and the recent violence near the
Gaza strip," the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told
reporters yesterday after the telephonic conversation between
the two leaders.
"The President called Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu
today to convey his best wishes before the start of Passover.
Noting that he would host a seder at the White House, the
President recalled that the story of Passover is one of
liberation and freedom, and expressed his hope that the
Israeli people would be able to celebrate in peace," he said.
Carney said that Netanyahu expressed his deep
appreciation for US funding for the Iron Dome rocket and
mortar defence system, which he noted has successfully
intercepted several rockets aimed at Israeli communities.
Obama congratulated Netanyahu on this impressive
Israeli technological achievement and expressed his pride that
Israeli-American cooperation made it possible, the White House
With the signing of the fiscal year 2011 budget
appropriation, Obama approved USD 205 million in US funding
for Iron Dome, which is above the annual package of Foreign
Military Financing for Israel, he added.