As war rages between Israel and Palestine, the United States of America today underlined its commitment to Israel’s security.
In her remarks with her meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says US commitment to Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering.
“That is why we believe it is essential to de-escalate the situation in Gaza.” -Ms. Clinton
Ms. Clinton stresses that the rocket attacks from terrorist organizations inside Gaza on Israeli cities and towns must end and a broader calm restored.
The goal must be a durable outcome that promotes regional stability and advances the security and legitimate aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians alike, she underlined.
Role For Egypt
According to Ms. Clinton, President Obama has emphasized these same points in his multiple conversations with President Morsi of Egypt.
She says the US appreciates President Morsi’s personal leadership and Egypt’s efforts thus far.
As a regional leader and neighbor, Egypt has the opportunity and responsibility to continue playing a crucial and constructive role in this process, Ms. Clinton noted.
“I will carry this message to Cairo tomorrow. I will also be consulting with President Abbas in Ramallah.” -Ms. Clinton
In addition, Ms. Clinton notes that the US is pleased that the Iron Dome defense system is performing so well.
She emphasizes that US-Israel partnership in support of this system represents America’s enduring commitment to the safety and security of the Israeli people and to Israel’s right to defend itself.
However, Ms. Clinton pointed out that no defense is perfect and our hearts break for the loss of every civilian – Israeli and Palestinian and for all those who have been wounded or who are living in fear and danger.
“I know today was a difficult day, and I offer my deepest condolences to the loved ones of those who were lost and injured.” -Ms. Clinton
Ms. Clinton stresses that in the end, there is no substitute for security and for a just and lasting peace, and the current crisis certainly focuses us on the urgency of this broader goal.
Ms. Clinton states that the United States will work with its partners in Israel and across the region toward an outcome that bolsters security for the people of Israel, improves conditions for the people of Gaza, and moves toward a comprehensive peace for all people of the region.
Netanyahu: Terrorists Aim To Maximize Civilian Casualties
Before their meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu also stressed that one of the things that they are doing is trying to resist and counter a terrorist barrage which is aimed directly at civilians, and doing so by minimizing civilian casualties, whereas the terrorist enemies of Israel are doing everything in their power to maximize the number of civilian casualties.
He adds that no country can tolerate a wanton attack on its civilians.
However, Prime Minister Netanyahu says if there is a possibility of achieving a long-term solution to this problem through diplomatic means, the Israelis prefer that.
Earlier this week, Israel exchanged fire with Hamas in years after assassinating its military mastermind.
Hamas has been in full control of Gaza since launching a bloody coup against the Palestinian Authority’s rival Fatah group in June 2007.
Terrorists in Hamas-controlled Gaza have fired 108 rockets, mortars and missiles from Gaza into Israel since Israel ended its defensive operation from December 2008-Jan. 9 to root out rocket launchers and weapons storage facilities Gaza.
That marks a significant decrease from the 7,000 rockets, mortars and missiles fired from Gaza since Israel withdrew all of its citizens and forces from the area in August 2005. Israel carried out the 2005 operation in hopes of paving the way for an independent Palestinian state.
Gaza by the Numbers
In June 2007, the Iran-backed terrorist organization Hamas carried out a violent coup in the Gaza Strip and overthrew the Palestinian Authority and the Fatah party. Since then the group has remained in control of the territory and refused to reconcile with PA President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party or allow new elections to take place.
Hamas also has fired thousands of rockets, missiles and mortars at Israeli civilians from Gaza, turning it into a launching pad for attacks against Israel after Israel uprooted its communities and left all of Gaza in 2005 in hopes of paving the way for an independent Palestinian state. Hamas has smuggled in hundreds of tons of weaponry into the territory. Additionally, Hamas continues to refuse to recognize Israel, renounce violence and return Gilad Shalit, the Israeli-French soldier whom Hamas abducted from Israel in an unprovoked attack in June 2006.
Israel has placed a naval blockade on Gaza to prevent large-scale weapons smuggling and also restricted the entry into Gaza of certain goods, particularly those Hamas has used in the past to build its terrorist infrastructure . On June 20, the Israeli government eased certain restrictions to allow in more civilian goods, except those that may have dual military use.