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US To Israel- "We Encourage Israel To Take Every Step To Avoid Civilian Casualties" As Terrorists Fire From Residential Areas

November 15, 2012

"The way the IDF operation unfolds may depend on the number of civilian casualties caused to Hamas and its ability to expoit that in order to create pressure on Israel to stop punishing it militarily."

Click on link below for video: "Jihadists Firing from Residential Zones, Proud of It"

"Terrorists from the Islamic Jihad's Al-Quds Brigades in Gaza are firing rockets at Israel from within urban residential areas, and publicizing the fact.

A video uploaded Wednesday to the official Al-Quds channel asserts the repeated and unapologetic use of the "human shield" tactics used by terror organizations in the area. Such methods intentionally endanger the civilian population and deliberately create a terrorist haven amid apartment buildings, schools and playgrounds."

U.S. Throws its Support Behind Israel

"We support Israel's right to defend itself," says U.S. State Department. Netanyahu thanks Obama.

By Elad Benari First Publish: 11/15/2012, 12:33 AM

The United States expressed support for Israel on Wednesday, after the IDF launched Operation Pillar of Defense in response to the ongoing rocket attacks from Gaza.

"We strongly condemn the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel, and we regret the death and injury of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians caused by the ensuing violence," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement.

"There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel. We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately. We support Israel's right to defend itself, and we encourage Israel to continue to take every effort to avoid civilian casualties," he added.

"Hamas claims to have the best interests of the Palestinian people at heart, yet it continues to engage in violence that is counterproductive to the Palestinian cause," said Toner. "Attacking Israel on a near daily basis does nothing to help Palestinians in Gaza or to move the Palestinian people any closer to achieving self determination."

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu later spoke with President Barack Obama. The Prime Minister expressed his deep appreciation for Obama's support of Israel's right to defend itself.

Earlier, Netanyahu spoke with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton. It is expected that the Prime Minister will also speak with other world leaders.

Earlier, President Shimon Peres also spoke to Obama, telling him that Israel did not want things to escalate but was forced into a position where it had no choice but to defend the population in the south that was exposed to unbearable conditions.

"For five days rockets were continuously fired at Israel. Mothers and children cannot sleep at night. I visited Sderot this morning (Wednesday) and saw with my own eyes the pain of the mothers and children, the difficulty of the south. There is a limit to how much Israel can absorb," Peres told Obama.


Readout of President's phone calls with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Egyptian president Morsi.

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release November 14, 2012

Readout of the President's Phone Calls with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Egyptian President Morsi

Today, the President spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Morsi about the rocket attacks being launched from Gaza into Israel, and the escalating violence in Gaza.

The President reiterated to Prime Minister Netanyahu the United States' support for Israel's right to self-defense in light of the barrage of rocket attacks being launched from Gaza against Israeli civilians. The President urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to make every effort to avoid civilian casualties. The two agreed that Hamas needs to stop its attacks on Israel to allow the situation to de-escalate. The two leaders agreed to stay in close touch in the coming days. Earlier today, Vice President Biden received a briefing from Prime Minister Netanyahu on the events in Gaza.

The President also spoke with President Morsi given Egypt's central role in preserving regional security. In their conversation, President Obama condemned the rocket fire from Gaza into Israel and reiterated Israel's right to self-defense. The two leaders agreed on the importance of working to de-escalate the situation as quickly as possible and agreed to stay in close touch in the days ahead.

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