Obama blames Hamas's missiles for conflict

Nikhil Kumar
Monday 19 November 2012 01:00
Comments

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."

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in