U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today made the following statement regarding Israel's offensive against members of the violent, extremist group Hamas in Gaza. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Three Israeli civilians were killed yesterday morning after a rocket struck an apartment building in southern Israel, the first fatalities from the barrage of rocket attacks targeting civilians that have come from Hamas-controlled Gaza in the past six days. This is hardly a unique situation. Israeli civilians were subject to several days of rocket attacks just last month, and they continue to live their lives day to day knowing that such an event could occur at any time.
"While Hamas intentionally targets Israeli civilians, Israeli officials have alerted civilians in Gaza to the need to stay away from Hamas and its operatives, attempting to minimize casualties. Hamas' deliberate attacks against Israeli civilians are despicable, as is their continued use of innocent Palestinians civilians in Gaza as human shields. Congress clearly supports Israel's right to protect itself against attacks from violent extremists such as Hamas, and I strongly urge this Administration to stand with our ally both bilaterally and in multilateral fora as it seeks to defend its citizens."