President Barack Obama called for an "immediate" cease-fire in Gaza Monday, after an invasion and air assault by Israel in response to rocked attacks by Hamas left hundreds dead.
The president noted that Secretary of State John Kerry is headed to the region.
"I've instructed him to push for an immediate cessation of hostilities," he said. "We don't want to see any more civilians getting killed."
He reaffirmed that Israel has a right to defend itself against rocket attacks, and said Israel's attacks have already damaged "Hamas's terrorist infrastructure in Gaza," but said the United States is concerned about civilian deaths in Gaza, as well as Israeli casualties.
Previous efforts at a cease-fire failed after Hamas continued to fire rockets at Israel — nearly 2,000 since the recent hostilities began, according to Israel.