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Barack Obama Administration: Statement by President Obama Pledging to Prevent Hamas Smuggling

(January 22, 2009)

According to a statement from White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, President Obama placed phone calls on January 21, 2009, to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and King Adullah of Jordan in which he “emphasized his determination to work to help consolidate the cease-fire by establishing an effective anti-smuggling regime to prevent Hamas from rearming, and facilitating in partnership with the Palestinian Authority a major reconstruction effort for Palestinians in Gaza.”

He also communicated “his commitment to active engagement in pursuit of Arab-Israeli peace from the beginning of his term" and "his hope for their continued cooperation and leadership.”

Olmert told Obama that he hoped the anti-smuggling efforts would work because it would “stabilize the cease-fire and advance the diplomatic process” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, according to a statement from Olmert's office. The prime minister also told the U.S. president that Israel “would invest effort in supplying the humanitarian needs” of the Palestinians in Gaza and work to improve the Palestinian economic situation in the West Bank.

Sources: JTA, (January 21, 2009)