Obama says US supports Israel’s offensive in Gaza

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from FoxNews,

President Obama pledged strong support Friday for Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Hamas militants, but urged the Jewish state to try to minimize civilian deaths in its ground push into Gaza.

Obama said he spoke to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Friday about the escalating situation. “We support their military efforts to make sure more rockets aren’t being fired, “Obama told reporters at a press conference at the White House.

“No nation should accept rockets being fired into its borders or terrorists tunneling into its territory,” Obama said. “I also made clear that the United States and our friends and allies are deeply concerned about the risks of further escalation and the loss of more innocent life.”

The comments came after Netanyahu ordered the Israeli military to prepare for a “significant expansion” of its ground operation against Gaza militants, aiming to destroy underground tunnels used by Hamas to attack the Jewish State.

“Our understanding is the current military ground operations are designed to deal with the tunnels. And we are hopeful that Israel will continue to approach this process in a way that minimizes civilian casualties,” Obama said.

Israeli ground troops and tanks struck more than 100 terror targets in Israel’s first major ground offensive in Gaza in just over five years.

Israeli officials have said the goal is to weaken Hamas militarily and have not addressed the possibility of driving the Islamic militants from power.

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