Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Clinton: Ball in Hamas’s Court
United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton placed responsibility to return calm to the region on Hamas’s shoulders, saying that Hamas must stop the rocket attacks on Israel.
Speaking at a press conference Tuesday afternoon she stated, "The first step is a durable peace, but that can only be achieved if Hamas ceases the rocket attacks.”
Secretary Clinton also called for a halt in the smuggling of weapons from Egypt, which continues despite the Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign and occasional IDF attacks on smuggling tunnels.
Unlike the Bush Secretary of State who sought a “balance” in blame, she did not couple the halt of attacks with the issue of Gaza border crossings.
Israel has restricted shipments of humanitarian aid through the crossings in order to lessen the movement of materials that can be used for terrorist strikes.
Secretary Clinton, in her first visit to Israel since taking office last month, also said she spoke withFM Livni about the Iranian nuclear threat and Tehran’s alliance with Hamas.
She said that the Obama administration is conducting a policy review to determine where it can “productively engage” diplomatic solutions, and that all dialogue will be in consultation with Israel, reiterating her message that Israel's decisions as to her security are hers to make, and that the Obama administration considers Israel's relationship with the U.S. to be strong and special.