Obama: Israel Has a Right to Defend Itself

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July 16 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama speaks at a news conference about the recent violence between Israel and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. (Source: Bloomberg)

As i've said repeatedly, israel has a right to defend itself from rocket attacks that terrorized the israeli people.

There is no country on earth that can be expected to live under a daily barrage of rockets.

I'm proud that the iron dome system that americans helped israel develop and fund has saved many israeli lives.

Over the past two weeks, we have all been heart broken by the violence, especially to the death -- the death of so many innocent civilians in gaza, men, women, and children who are caught in the crossfire.

That is why we have been working with our partners in the region to pursue a cease-fire to protect civilians on both sides.

Yesterday, israel did agree to a cease-fire.

Unfortunately, hamas continued to fire rockets at civilians, thereby prolonging the conflict.

The israeli people and the palestinian people don't want to live like this.

They deserve to live in peace and security free from fear.

That is why we are going to continue to encourage a diplomatic efforts to restore the cease-fire, and we support egypt's continued efforts to bring this about.

Over the next 24 hours, we will continue to stay in close contact with our friends in the region, and we will use all of our diplomatic resources and relationships to support efforts to close a deal on a cease-fire.

In the meantime, we are going to

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