U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, issued the following statement following a House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting with Israel's Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:
"These are critical times for Israel, and I reiterated to Ambassador Dermer my firm support for Israel's right to defend itself against ongoing attacks by the terrorist group Hamas. No other country in the world would allow these terrorist attacks to continue without taking action. It is appalling that Abu Mazen would accuse Israel of committing genocide when it is Hamas that is using Palestinian women and children as human shields and when it is Israel that is taking every precaution in its response, out of self-defense, to limit civilian casualties. I call on the international community to unilaterally condemn the gross violation of human rights being committed by Hamas.
"Abu Mazen is not interested in peace or else he would demand that Hamas stop firing rockets targeting innocent civilians in Israel and endangering the lives of Palestinian women and children. Abu Mazen's inability to stop these horrid tactics demonstrates that he is either incapable of leading the Palestinian people or that he supports such tactics. Abu Mazen is no partner for peace, and he must completely cut off the unity government with Hamas. The Congress stands firmly in support of Israel as it defends itself and I hope the Obama Administration will take a clear stance in defense of our ally, the democratic Jewish State of Israel, at this crucial time."