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US back Egypt's truce efforts over Gaza conflict

Washington: US President Barack Obama stressed that the US will continue supporting Egypt's efforts to reach a long-term ceasefire in Gaza.

Obama renewed his condemnation of Hamas blaming it for the conflict that left 1,900 Palestinians dead, MENA reported on Thursday.

"I have no sympathy for Hamas. I have great sympathy for ordinary people who are struggling within Gaza," Obama said at a press conference.

"I have said from the beginning that no country would tolerate rockets being launched into their cities," Obama said, while referring to Israel's offensive in Gaza Strip.

Obama expressed his "distress at what has happened to innocent civilians, including women and children".

The US president said he was glad that a 72-hour ceasefire has offered the people of Gaza a temporary reprieve, as indirect negotiations continue in Egypt.

A 72-hour humanitarian truce brokered by Egypt between Israel and Palestine went into effect Tuesday in the Gaza Strip.

Just before the truce came into effect, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) announced the withdrawal of all of its troops to "defensive positions" outside the Gaza Strip.

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