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              In this image provided by the Egyptian President, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, left, meets with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012. About 500 Egyptian activists have crossed into Gaza to deliver medical supplies and show support for Palestinians facing an Israeli offensive. Morsi, comes from the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent group of Hamas and has met with Hamas leaders in Cairo. (AP Photo/Egyptian Presidency)

Obama pushed Israel to accept Egyptian cease-fire agreement friendly to Hamas

Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

“The President made clear that no country can be expected to tolerate rocket attacks against civilians,” said the statement, without objecting to Hamas rocket attacks against military targets.

The statement about Obama’s talks with Morsi were friendlier.

“President Obama and President Morsi agreed on the importance of working toward a more durable solution to the situation in Gaza. … Obama reaffirmed the close partnership between the United States and Egypt, and welcomed President Morsi’s commitment to regional security.”

Obama has spoken to Morsi four times in the last two days. (RELATED: Obama thanks Morsi, another Islamist leader for Election Day congratulations)

Without Morsi’s public backing for explicit anti-Hamas curbs, any curbs may be abandoned amid ballot-box pressure from the Egyptian electorate’s increasingly anti-Israeli attitude.

The White House statement about the phone call with Netanyahu mentioned some security goals sought by Israel, whose civilians are periodically rocketed by Hamas’ jihadis.

Obama “said that the United States would use the opportunity offered by a ceasefire to intensify efforts to help Israel address its security needs, especially the issue of the smuggling of weapons and explosives into Gaza. … [And] the President said that he was committed to seeking additional funding for Iron Dome and other US-Israel missile defense programs,” according to the statement.

The absence of any enforceable terms in an inconclusive cease-fire agreement, which would still prevent Israel’s threatened ground movement into the enclave, will be touted as a victory by Hamas and its allies.

Hamas’ allies wanted to stop an Israeli movement that could have killed many of Hamas’s jihadis and leaders, destroyed more of their hidden weapons and demonstrated their inability to maintain control of their territory.

Also, any cease-fire arrangement without terms is a de facto rejection by the United States and Egypt of Israel’s goals for peace.

Israel’s government had sought new curbs on Hamas’ ability to smuggle rockets and other weapons into the enclave, and for the creation of a kilometer-wide buffer zone between Israel and Gaza. They sought the buffer because local jihadis routinely launch rockets at Israeli border patrols and farmers.