Obama, Netanyahu speak after Israel’s Syria raids

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U.S. President Barack Obama spoke to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday, days after the latest Israeli air raids on Syrian targets and as Washington steps up its Middle East peace efforts.

The White House said in a short statement that Obama and Netanyahu, who is visiting China, spoke by telephone, and discussed “regional security issues and Middle East peace.”

U.S. officials have declined to comment in detail on air strikes by Israel on targets near Damascus on Friday and Sunday which Israeli sources said destroyed Iranian missiles apparently destined for the Hezbollah militia.

But Obama said on Saturday after the first set of Israeli raids that the Jewish state was justified in seeking to “guard against the transfer of advanced weaponry to terrorist organizations like Hezbollah.”

The call between Netanyahu and Obama, who patched up a previously testy relationship during the U.S. leader's trip to Israel in March, also came as Washington seeks to broker a breakthrough between Israelis and Palestinians.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry earlier announced he would return to Israel for his fourth trip in his new post later this month.

Kerry is seeking to revive talks between the two sides which have been stalled since late 2010

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