WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House says President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed cooperation on counterterrorism, the Middle East peace process and violence in the Gaza Strip during a telephone conversation Monday.
Obama also extended best wishes to Netanyahu before the start of Passover. The weeklong holiday begins Monday night with a traditional seder meal and marks the biblical story of the Israelites' exodus from Egypt.
Obama also was hosting a seder at the White House for the third straight year.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Netanyahu expressed appreciation for U.S. funding for a military weapons system that has intercepted several rockets aimed at Israeli communities.
Editor's note -- Israel National News has some observations on a key section of Obama's message:
Passover recalls the bondage and suffering of Jews in Egypt and the miracle of the Exodus, but U.S. President Barack Obama says its message is reflected in Muslim uprisings.
In his annual message, prior to his third straight participation in the Passover Seder, President Obama stated, “The story of Passover…instructs each generation to remember its past, while appreciating the beauty of freedom and the responsibility it entails. This year that ancient instruction is reflected in the daily headlines as we see modern stories of social transformation and liberation unfolding in the Middle East and North Africa.”