Obama ‘Encouraged’ by Gaza Cease-Fire Proposal


President Barack Obama reaffirmed Monday night that the U.S. stands by Israel’s right to defend itself from Hamas rockets, but said he is “encouraged” by a cease-fire proposal pushed by Egypt to de-escalate the situation in Israel and Gaza.

Speaking at an iftar dinner to mark the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, Obama acknowledged strong views and differences of opinion about the conflict, which has flared up over the past week.

“I will say very clearly, no country can accept rocket fired indiscriminately at citizens,” Obama told a group of Muslim-American leaders and the members of the diplomatic corps. “And so, we’ve been very clear that Israel has the right to defend itself against what I consider to be inexcusable attacks from Hamas.”

“At the same time, on top of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza that we’ve worked long and hard to alleviate, the death and injury of Palestinian civilians…

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