PM Netanyahu welcomed Sec. Clinton to Jerusalem & commented how Israel was fighting against terrorists who fire rockets against innocent civilians.
By Elad Benari
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrived in Israel on Tuesday night for meetings with officials, in an attempt to achieve a ceasefire in the fighting between Israel and Gaza.
Clinton and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu made statements to the press shortly before they met one on one.
Netanyahu welcomed Clinton to Jerusalem and noted that Israel was fighting against terrorists who fire barrages of rockets against innocent civilians.
“President Obama asked me to come to Israel with a very clear message. America’s 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,” Clinton said.
“We want to prevent an escalation in Gaza. Hamas’s fire on Israeli communities must stop and the solution must be a long-term one” which will maintain the security of Israeli citizens and Palestinian Authority Arab citizens, she added.
She praised Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi for taking an active role in trying to achieve a ceasefire. “We appreciate President Morsi’s leadership. As a regional leader, Egypt” has the opportunity to promote the ceasefire process, she noted.
Clinton mentioned the Iron Dome anti-missile system, which has been fundamental in saving the lives of Israelis during Gaza rocket attacks, and said that “our partnership [in funding Iron Dome] reflects our commitment to the security of Israel’s citizens and Israel’s right to defend itself, but no defense is complete and our hearts break when innocent civilians on both side are killed.”
In the days ahead, said Clinton, the U.S. will work with its partners to bring about a ceasefire in the region.
On Wednesday, Clinton will visit Ramallah and meet with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.