U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, made the following statement after hosting a briefing with Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren regarding the Israel-Gaza conflict. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"Recent events highlight the continued need for the United States to stand in solidarity with our steadfast ally Israel. U.S.--Israel security cooperation and assistance remains a critical component of our bilateral alliance especially as militants in Gaza repeatedly launched rocket attacks against Israel. Our Committee and other House colleagues appreciated meeting with Ambassador Oren concerning the recent conflict between Israel and violent Palestinian extremist groups in Gaza.
"Despite the recent attacks on Israel from Gaza, the Palestinian leadership in the West Bank apparently will continue to end-run direct negotiations with Israel and instead seek UN de facto recognition of a Palestinian state. Any upgrade in status for the Palestinian UN mission could enable them to use the International Criminal Court (ICC) to pursue politically-motivated prosecutions of Israelis on sham war crimes charges. It is ironic that the ICC, a body founded to prevent genocide, could one day be exploited by violent extremists who oppose the very existence of the Jewish people and the Jewish State.
"We cannot allow extremists to hijack international organizations to undermine free democracies like our ally Israel. Not only will Hamas and other violent extremist groups continue their rocket attacks in the future, but they could gain the ability to launch legal rockets against Israel as well in the ICC. I am confident that the future of the U.S.-Israel alliance is bright as both our nations strive for peace and security in the region, and I encourage responsible nations to support Israel and oppose reckless Palestinian schemes at the UN."