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Associated Press
   ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (AP) -- The White House says it believes Israel
"has the right to defend itself" against attack and that the Israelis will make their
own decisions about their "military tactics and operations."
   A top aide to President Barack Obama tells reporters traveling with the
president to Asia on Air Force One that the U.S. and Israel both want an end to
the rocket fire that's coming from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.
   Deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes says Obama and Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agree that "de-escalation is preferred," provided
hat Hamas stops firing into Israel.
   Obama has spoken with the leaders of Egypt and Turkey, too.
   Rhodes says they "have the ability to play a constructive role in engaging
Hamas" and encouraging a de-escalation of the attacks.
   AP-WF-11-17-12 1709GMT

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