US supports Israeli right to self defence    2007-12-19 14:38:58    

The United States Wednesday backed Israel's right to defend itself, but said incursions into Gaza could carry obvious consequences.
Washington (dpa) - The United States Wednesday backed Israel's right to defend itself, but said incursions into Gaza could carry obvious consequences.

Tom Casey, deputy spokesman at the US State Department, was responding to a question about Israeli's recent military actions into Gaza.

Israel killed 11 militants in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, mostly from the Islamic Jihad, on Monday night and Tuesday, in reaction to rockets fired into its territory.

Ismail Haniya, leader of the Hamas movement that now controls Gaza, has called for a ceasefire.

"We're all aware of the problems that exist in Gaza, particularly the continued rocket attacks on Israel," Casey said. "Certainly, Israel has a right to defend itself, but we also want to make sure that, as always, any actions Israel takes it's cognizant to the potential consequences of those actions."

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Tuesday night Israel would continue targeting those responsible for launching the makeshift rockets and mortars at towns and villages adjacent to the Gaza Strip.

"I think that in the past two days, more people understand that a war is underway there. This war will not cease," he told legislators from his Kadima party.

Olmert and other Israeli leaders are under continuing and growing pressure to put an end to the rockets and mortars, over 2000 of which have been launched this year.


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