Obama blames Hamas's missiles for conflict
Nikhil Kumar is The Independent's New York correspondent. He was formerly assistant editor on the foreign desk and has also done a variety of jobs on the city desk, where he wrote about markets, commodities and other business and economics topics.
Monday 19 November 2012
President Barack Obama cautiously waded into the first major foreign policy challenge of his second term at the weekend by saying it would be "preferable" if Israel avoided a ground invasion of Gaza, even has he reaffirmed American support for its ally.
The President said rocket attacks by Hamas, which the US considers a terrorist organisation, were to blame for the latest round of hostilities.
He also made pointed remarks against Egypt and Turkey, where leaders have been critical of Israeli air strikes.
"Let's understand that the precipitating event here … was an ever-escalating number of missiles that were landing not just in Israeli territory but in areas that are populated, and there's no country on Earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders," Mr Obama said, speaking in Thailand at the start of a three-day tour of Asia.
The United States, he said, was "fully supportive of Israel's right to defend itself". But he said he would prefer that this happen without "a ramping up of military activity in Gaza".
At a press conference in Thailand, Mr Obama issued a rebuke to Egypt and Turkey. "What I said to President [Mohamed Morsi of Egypt] and Prime Minister Erdogan [of Turkey] is those who champion the cause of the Palestinians should recognise that if we see a further escalation of the situation in Gaza then the likelihood of us getting back on any kind of peace track that leads to a two-state solution is going to be pushed off way into the future."
Britain First 'acting like Ukip henchmen' by invading meeting of activists in revenge for pub protest against Nigel Farage
Costa Concordia: Shipment of Mob drugs was hidden aboard cruise liner when it hit rocks off Italian coast, investigators say
Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
Turkey power cut: Prime Minister says nationwide blackout could be caused by terrorists
- 1 Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
- 3 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 4 Tidal: Jay Z's Spotify rival streaming service criticised for making wealthy artists even richer
- 5 Brixton squat flats now costing up to £3k per month show how out of control rent is in London
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of compliance software a...
£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Associate System Engineer r...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Executive Assistant is required to join a l...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...