Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Obama embraces Netanyahu, Condemns Slaughter attack and promises US unwavering support for Israel's security

"I did want to specifically take some time out to speak to the people of Israel and to the region about the senseless slaughter that took place near Hebron yesterday,"
(Via Politico live blog).President Obama, standing alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel after their Oval Office meeting, says he wants to take time to talk about the "senseless slaughter that took place near Hebron yesterday," referring to the killings of Israelis by Hamas.

"There are going to be extremists and rejectionists who, rather than seeking peace, are going to be seeking destruction, and the tragedy that we saw yesterday, where people were gunned down on the street by terrorists who are purposely trying to undermine these talks, is an example of what we're up against," he says.

Obama continues: "The United States is going to be unwavering in its support of Israel's security, and we are going to push back against these kinds of terrorist activities." To Hamas and other terrorist groups, he says, "This is not going to stop us from not only ensuring a secure Israel, but also securing a longer-lasting peace in which people throughout the region can take a different course." (12:26 p.m.)

Taking the lectern, Netanyahu thanks Obama for the “sentiment of decent people everywhere.” The Hamas terrorists have “no respect for human life” and “butcher everything they oppose,” he says.

The peace talks are “open, productive, serious in the request for peace,” he says, and focus on a security arrangement that will “roll back” this kind of terror.

“I appreciate, Mr. President, your efforts in trying to advance this peace for us" and "our neighbors,” Netanyahu says.

Speaking once again, Obama says he has “confidence” in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and the prospects of reaching a “two-state solution” with Israel.

“So I’m also grateful to him for his presence here today,” he says. “We’re going to remain stalwart.”