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Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:16 PM

Obama Warns Against ‘Ramping Up’ in Gaza Crisis [View all]

Source: Associated Press

By Associated PressNov. 18, 2012

(BANGKOK) — President Barack Obama said Sunday an incursion by Israel‘s forces into the Gaza Strip could only deepen its death toll, cautioning against an escalation even as he defended the Jewish state’s right to defend itself. Obama also warned Palestinians the crisis could crush peace hopes for years.

“Israel has every right to expect that it does not have missiles fired into its territory,” Obama said at the start of a three-nation tour in Asia.

“If that can be accomplished without a ramping up of military activity in Gaza, that’s preferable,” he said. “It’s not just preferable for the people of Gaza. It’s also preferable for Israelis, because if Israeli troops are in Gaza, they’re much more at risk of incurring fatalities or being wounded.”

Obama’s comments came as Israel’s campaign against Hamas militants in Gaza blasted into its fifth day. Israel is at a crossroads of whether to launch a ground invasion or pursue Egyptian-led truce efforts. Obama sought to defend the U.S. ally’s rights while pushing for a halt in the violence.

Read more: http://world.time.com/2012/11/18/obama-warns-against-ramping-up-in-gaza-crisis/?xid=gonewsedit&google_editors_picks=true

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