Israeli officials blast Obama’s demand of ‘unconditional’ cease-fire

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks on the phone from the Oval Office. Credit: Pete Souza/White House.

( Israeli officials expressed outraged on Monday after U.S. President Barack Obama urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to announce an “immediate, unconditional humanitarian cease-fire” in Gaza.

In a statement about a phone call between the two leaders, the White House said Obama “underscored the enduring importance of ensuring Israel’s security, protecting civilians, alleviating Gaza’s humanitarian crisis, and enacting a sustainable cease-fire that both allows Palestinians in Gaza to lead normal lives and addresses Gaza’s long-term development and economic needs, while strengthening the Palestinian Authority.”

Israeli Housing Minister Uri Ariel said on Army Radio that the U.S. should “go focus on Syria.”

“It was obvious that international pressure would mount eventually. … The [Palestinian] rocket threat needs to be tackled. The tunnel threat is being addressed, but it is not enough,” he said.

MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) said, “The American proposal serves only the interests of Hamas. For the first time in years there is an overwhelming majority of Israelis who support the continuation of the operation. The Israeli government needs to change the rules of the game in Gaza and defeat Hamas.”

Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman MK Ze’ev Elkin said the “fact that Hamas is still shooting means that it is not afraid.” 

“We cannot allow Hamas to leave this confrontation with victories,” he said, Israel Hayom reported.

Posted on July 28, 2014 .