Washington: President Barack Obama expressed concern over the loss of life in Gaza in a call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday, and said Secretary of State John Kerry will travel to Cairo to seek an end to the fighting.
Obama, who condemned attacks by Hamas on Israel, "raised serious concern about the growing number of casualties, including increasing Palestinian civilian deaths in Gaza and the loss of Israeli soldiers," the White House said, adding that Kerry will "soon" travel to the Egyptian capital.
The White House issued its statement on the bloodiest single day in Gaza in the past five years, with at least 99 Palestinians and 13 Israel soldiers killed.
Obama and Netanyahu spoke after Kerry did the rounds of Sunday morning US news shows, with Netanyahu also appearing on two of the programs.
"President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke again this morning by phone, their second call in three days to discuss the situation in Gaza," the White House said.
It said that the two leaders "discussed Israel`s ongoing military operation," including "the loss of Israeli soldiers," as Obama "reaffirmed Israel`s right to defend itself."
The White House said Kerry will seek "an immediate cessation of hostilities based on a return to the November 2012 ceasefire agreement" and stressed the need to protect civilian life both "in Gaza and in Israel."