White House: Bush talked by phone with PM Olmert

Associated Press - December 31, 2008 11:23 AM ET

CRAWFORD, Texas (AP) - The White House says President George W. Bush personally appealed to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for peace in the violence-scarred Mideast.

Presidential spokesman Gordon Johndroe told that the president consulted by phone early Wednesday with the Israeli leader from Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas. The call came amid new indications that Israel is not interested in the push by the United States, Europe and others for a 2-day cease-fire.

He said that Olmert gave Bush assurances that Israeli is trying to avoid civilian casualties.

Bush has been constantly monitoring the air strikes into the Gaza Strip, which Israel launched last Saturday in response to the rocket strikes directed at the Jewish state by the militant Hamas organization.

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