US does not see Israel killings, Hamas blamed

Obama, who is still in Hawaii on vacation and takes office on Jan. 20, has also made no public comment on Israel bombardments.

US does not see Israel killings, Hamas blamed

The United States on Monday firmly backed Israeli air strikes on Gaza, killing nearly 350 Palestinians in three days of bombardments.

The United States did not call for Israel to stop three days of air strikes.

The United States "understands that Israel needs to take actions to defend itself," White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe told reporters.

Washington still blamed Hamas of "provoking Israel" by declaring a 6-month-old truce dead on Dec. 19, which Israel did not meet truce conditions, including lifting siege on Gaza.

"In order for the violence to stop, Hamas must stop firing rockets into Israel and agree to respect a sustainable and durable ceasefire," he said.

President George W. Bush, who is on vacation at his Texas ranch, has made no public comment since the Israeli air strikes began on Saturday.

Still no comment by Obama

Bush will hand over to Obama the Israeli occupation in Palestine along with occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq and a U.S. economy in recession.

Obama, who is still in Hawaii on vacation and takes office on Jan. 20, has also made no public comment on Israel bombardments but has been briefed by Bush's secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice.

Bush spoke with Saudi King Abdullah over the weekend, and Rice has been in contact with her counterparts in Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia about a ceasefire. Neither Rice nor Bush has been in contact with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

"We are encouraging all of the nations in the region to take an active part in rebuilding the ceasefire so that we can return to the relative calm that was enjoyed in the region over the past six months," State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid said.

The Israeli attacks were the deadliest violence in the territory for decades and Palestinian medical officials put the Gaza death toll at 325.

The White House showed no signs of preparing to call for restraint by Israel, echoing the position it took when Israel invaded Lebanon in 2006 in an unsuccessful attempt to destroy Hezbollah.

At that time the United States opposed a ceasefire for weeks, saying it must be on terms that would last. After more than 30 days, defeated Israel accepted a ceasefire.

Agencies

Last Mod: 30 Aralık 2008, 12:22
Add Comment