Washington: President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pressed each other politely but firmly today to address areas of tension in their relationship, with US President calling for an end to Palestinian civilian deaths and the Israeli leader warning of the consequences of leaving Iran with nuclear capabilities.
Obama and Netanyahu spoke to reporters before convening private discussions in the Oval Office. It's the first time the two leaders have met since Israel's summer war with Hamas, which killed more than 2,100 Palestinians the vast majority of them civilians and more than 70 Israelis.
The civilian deaths in Gaza deeply angered U.S. Officials, prompting more biting public condemnations of Israel's actions than are typical from the Obama administration.
Sitting alongside Netanyahu today, Obama said leaders must "find ways to change the status quo so that both Israel citizens are safe in their own homes, and schoolchildren in their schools, from the possibility of rocket fire but also that we don't have the tragedy of Palestinian children being killed as well."