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JERUSALEM – The U.S. should be “ashamed” of issuing an official statement on the current violence in Gaza that called on “both sides” – Israel and Hamas – to restore calm, declared a Knesset member from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party today.
“I think that every American should be ashamed of such a statement coming from the administration,” said Likud Knesset Member Danny Danon.
Danon, the deputy speaker of Israel’s parliament known for his hawkish views, continued: “Do you know that Hamas was the only organization (government) worldwide that condemned the killing of Osama bin Laden? So how could the administration compare what is happening now and say both sides? It is unacceptable.”
“We know that we are dealing with a terrorist organization,” he said. “And I want to remind you and I need to remind Secretary Clinton and President Obama there are no Jewish settlements in Gaza anymore. So what is the reason for hostility? Why are they sending rockets to Ashdod and Ashkelon?… I would expect a different declaration from the U.S. administration.”
Danon was speaking today in an interview on Aaron Klein’s WABC Radio show.
The Knesset member took issue with an official statement on the Gaza violence from State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland that said U.S. was “deeply concerned” by the renewed violence in southern Israel.
“We are deeply concerned by the renewal of violence in Southern Israel,” read the statement. “We condemn in the strongest terms the rocket fire from Gaza by terrorists into southern Israel. … We call on both sides to make every effort to restore calm.”
The violence began Friday when the Israeli Air Force launched a strike in Gaza that killed the leader of the Popular Resistance Committees, Zuhir al-Qaisi, who was believed to be planning a large-scale, imminent terror attack on Israel’s southern border.
Gazan groups have since fired over 110 rockets at Jewish civilian population centers. Many of those rockets have been shot down by the Iron Dome anti-rocket system, which is designed to intercept projectiles identified as heading toward populated areas.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel remains on high alert for a possible terrorist attack on the Egypt border.