Israeli premier clarifies praise of Fidel Castro

Israel's prime minister has called a leading U.S. congressional supporter to clarify his recent praise of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lauded Castro for criticizing Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's denial of the Holocaust and for saying Israel has the right to exist as a Jewish state. President Shimon Peres sent Castro a letter thanking him.

But the praise seems to have rankled U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Cuban exile fiercely critical of Castro.

Netanyahu's office said that "in response to questions," he called the Florida Republican and incoming chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to say his comments were limited only to Castro's remarks about Israel and the Holocaust.