'LEAVE US ALONE!' top Israeli official says to Obama
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
7/29/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
While the United States and Israel remain the staunchest of allies, top Israeli official, Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel wants President Barack Obama to cease his interference with the Jewish state during its conflict with Hamas in Gaza. "Leave us alone," Ariel told Army Radio, directing his words at Obama. "Go focus on Syria."
Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel wants President Barack Obama to cease his interference with the Jewish state during its conflict with Hamas in Gaza. "Leave us alone," Ariel told Army Radio.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Ariel, speaking to Israel's Army Radio, criticized Obama telling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that there should be an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.
Obama had spoken with Netanyahu this past weekend about the rising number of Palestinian deaths in Gaza and the worsening humanitarian crisis.
"Building on Secretary Kerry's efforts, the President made clear the strategic imperative of instituting an immediate, unconditional humanitarian ceasefire that ends hostilities now and leads to a permanent cessation of hostilities based on the November 2012 ceasefire agreement," the White House said in a statement. The Obama administration also reiterated that Israel has a right to defend itself from rocket attacks from Hamas.
Ariel told Army Radio that Israel's offensive should be more aggressive.
"It was obvious that international pressure would mount eventually," Ariel stated. "We should have acted faster, harder and with more determination. The rocket threat needs to be tackled. The tunnel threat is being addressed, but it is not enough."
Ariel claims that pressure from President Obama for an immediate ceasefire was "outrageous" and would "help Hamas.
"[W]e never thought it would be the Americans who would lead the pressure," Ariel told Army Radio.
In response, the Obama administration pushed back against a torrent of Israeli criticism over Secretary of State John Kerry's latest bid to secure a cease-fire with Hamas, accusing some in Israel of launching a "misinformation campaign" against the top American diplomat.
"It's simply not the way partners and allies treat each other," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.
White House officials say they were disappointed by Israeli reports that cast Kerry's efforts to negotiate a cease-fire as more favorable to Hamas.
Israel had accepted an Egyptian call for an unconditional cease-fire early in its Gaza campaign, but Hamas rejected the idea.
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