June 24, 2010
In News The Israel-Palestine Conflict
WASHINGTON (AFP) – Eighty-seven of the US Senate’s 100 members have voiced support for Israel’s right to self-defense in the face of threats from Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran, the Senate said Wednesday.The lawmakers wrote in a letter to President Barack Obama that they “fully support Israel?s right to self-defense. “In response to thousands of rocket attacks on Israel from Hamas terrorists in Gaza, Israel took steps to prevent items which could be used to support these attacks from reaching Gaza,” they said, referring to Israel’s four-year naval blockade of the Palestinian territory. Israel last week announced it was easing its siege to allow all strictly “civilian” goods into Gaza, after a crisis exploded when Israeli forces killed nine activists during a May 31 raid on a flotilla of aid ships attempting to run the blockade. The lawmakers, from both sides of the political aisle, also stressed that “it is our national interest to support Israel at a moment when Israel faces multiple threats from Hamas in Gaza, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the current regime in Iran.” The lawmakers brought particular attention to the Turkish Muslim charity involved with organizing the aid flotilla, and urged Obama to consider branding the IHH — the acronym for the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation — as a terrorist organization, as Israel did earlier this month. They also commended Obama for the action he took “to prevent the adoption of an unfair United Nations Security Council resolution (about the deadly raid) which would have represented a rush to judgment by the international community.” A UN Security Council statement condemned the attack, but fell short of a call for an independent investigation, with the United States backing an Israeli probe.