News / USA

US Lawmakers Rally Behind Israel

Israelis are seen through a window damaged after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in the southern town of Ofakim, November 18, 2012.
Israelis are seen through a window damaged after a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip landed in the southern town of Ofakim, November 18, 2012.
Michael Bowman
— U.S. lawmakers are rallying behind Israel, reaffirming its right to self-defense in the face of Palestinian rocket attacks. Some legislators’ backing of Israel extends to the possible use of ground forces in Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss of Georgia said Israel cannot ignore rocket attacks, but faces tough decisions on how best to respond.

“The problem the Israelis have is [that] these rockets are being fired on them from places that they cannot reach by flying over them in the air," Chambliss said. "I mean, they [Palestinian militants] are putting them in school yards, surrounded by schoolchildren, and firing them from marketplaces that are crowded with people.”

Appearing on the U.S. television program Fox News Sunday, Chambliss voiced no opposition if Israel opted to use ground forces.

“Israel has a right to protect itself. And if sending ground troops in is the only way they can clean out these nests of rockets being fired at them, you cannot blame them for doing it,” he added.

Similarly, Republican Congressman Peter King of New York gave Israel the benefit of the doubt, saying, “I think Israel should do whatever it has to do to defend itself. I am not in a position, nor do I want to second-guess what Israel has to do.”

Speaking on ABC’s This Week program, King added that no one wants a ground war, but that only Israel can determine what is necessary to preserve its security.

US President Barack Obama speaks during a joint media conference with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra at Government House in Bangkok, November 18, 2012.US President Barack Obama speaks during a joint media conference with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra at Government House in Bangkok, November 18, 2012.
x
US President Barack Obama speaks during a joint media conference with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra at Government House in Bangkok, November 18, 2012.
US President Barack Obama speaks during a joint media conference with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra at Government House in Bangkok, November 18, 2012.
During a visit to Thailand Sunday, U.S. President Barack Obama called for an end to rocket fire into Israel, and said avoiding further military escalation would be the “preferable” outcome.

“That is not just preferable for the people of Gaza, it is also preferable for Israelis, because if Israeli troops are in Gaza they are much more at risk of incurring fatalities or being wounded," said the president.

White House officials said the president has spoken with regional leaders in hopes of resolving the crisis.  Egypt is viewed as playing a key role to that end.

On This Week, Democratic Senator Carl Levin urged Egypt to be more assertive with Hamas.

"The Egyptians have a real interest here in the region not exploding," said Levin. "I think they are going to have to take some very serious steps, diplomatically, to make it clear to Hamas that they will lose support in the Arab world if they continue these rocket attacks.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said his nation is prepared to “significantly expand” its military operation against Hamas if the rocket firings are not stopped.   But Israel has not revealed specific plans.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid