President Obama called for a cease-fire Monday between Israel and Hamas, saying Israeli defense forces have done “significant damage” to the terrorist organization in heavy fighting.
The president said he has dispatched Secretary of State John F. Kerry to the Middle East to broker a cease-fire agreement. The fighting has intensified in recent days with Israel launching a ground invasion of Gaza to stop the firing of rockets at Israel, and civilian deaths have risen.
“We have serious concerns about the rising number of Palestinian and civilian deaths and the loss of Israeli lives,” Mr. Obama said. “That is why it now has to be our focus and the focus of the international community to bring about a cease-fire that ends that fighting and that can stop the deaths of innocent civilians, both in Gaza and in Israel.”
He said while Israel “has a right to defend itself” from rocket and tunnel attacks by Hamas, Mr. Obama added, “As a result of its operations, Israel has already done significant damage to Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure in Gaza.”
“We don’t want to see any more civilians getting killed,” the president said.
Britain’s David Cameron made a statement defending Israel’s right to defend itself — and suggested the United Kingdom would respond in a similar manner if rockets were launched into London.
“But I share the grave concern of many in the international community about the heavy toll of civilian casualties,” he added. “The figures are very disturbing.”
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