Obama backs Mideast truce efforts, seeks easing of Gaza isolation
US President Barack Obama on Wednesday backed Egyptian efforts to broker a durable Israel-Hamas ceasefire in Gaza but also called for a longer-term solution that provides for Israeli security while offering Gaza residents hope they will not remain "permanently closed off from the world."


Obama said the short-term US goal is to make sure that a 72-hour truce holds and is extended beyond its Friday deadline, including the cessation of cross-border rocket fire by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.