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Royce Emphasizes Israel's Right to Self Defense

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, today issued the following statement as Israel faced a barrage of rocket fire from the Gaza Strip as terrorist group Hamas has stepped up its indiscriminate attacks. One rocket attack reportedly struck close to Tel Aviv, marking a significant escalation of this conflict.

"Israel has more than the right to defend itself, it has a duty to protect its citizens, which it is exercising. A wave of missile attacks have been hitting Israeli territory for several days. Hamas' missiles are designed solely to terrorize and kill. No country would stand for this," said Royce.

"Sirens are now sounding in southern Israel, warning citizens that they have seconds to take shelter. Six years ago, I was in northern Israel, as Haifa came under rocket fire from Hezbollah. I heard those same sirens. Now is the time to stand by Israel as its citizens are being terrorized."

Yesterday, responding to a wave of Hamas rocket attacks, Israel successfully targeted Ahmed Jabari, commander of Hamas' armed wing. Jabari has been linked to dozens of terrorist attacks and overseeing the kidnapping and five-year captivity of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. Iran is Hamas' main weapons supplier.

The Muslim Brotherhood called on Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi to "review" Egypt's peace treaty with Israel. Egypt is now controlled by a Muslim Brotherhood-led government which has close ties to Hamas. Egypt abuts Gaza's southern border.

"Egypt's peace treaty with Israel is a cornerstone of regional stability. President Morsi insists that he rejects violence and is a force for moderation. Now is the time to prove it," concluded Royce.

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