| GEO World|
| Cease-fire depends on Hamas: White House|
| Updated at: 1824 PST, Thursday, January 01, 2009|
TEXAS: President George W. Bush believes the first steps in any cease-fire in the violence in the Middle East will require the Hamas to agree to stop firing rockets into Israel, the White House said.
From his ranch in Crawford, Texas, Bush called Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for the first time since the conflict escalated between Israel and Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip.
"I think President Bush thinks that Hamas needs to stop firing rockets, and that is what will be the first step in a cease-fire," White House deputy press secretary Gordon Johndroe told reporters covering the president's stay in Texas.
Johndroe said that Hamas also needs to stop smuggling weapons into Gaza, a move that would show it doesn't intend to continue to target Israel.