Former US President Barack Obama has broken his silence on the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, urging the Jewish state to minimize civilian casualties and warning that its military strategy could backfire.
Obama expressed his support for Israel’s right to defend itself from the rocket attacks launched by Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza. He also condemned the violence that has erupted in mixed Israeli cities, where Jews and Arabs have clashed in recent days.
However, he cautioned that Israel’s air and ground campaign, which has killed more than 5,000 Palestinians, many of them children, and displaced tens of thousands more, could have negative consequences for its security and international standing.
Obama also called for a diplomatic solution to the conflict, saying that both sides need to acknowledge each other’s humanity and legitimate aspirations. He urged the US and other countries to help restore calm and resume negotiations for a two-state solution.