Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came to the defense of Israel on Monday evening, asserting that it was "provoked" by Hamas to respond militarily.
"You mention in particular the difficulties we currently are seeing in the Middle East because of the actions by Hamas, first to rain rockets onto Israel; Israel being provoked," Clinton told Katie Jacob Stanton, a former State Department official and current vice president of global media at Twitter,
during a livestream event
at Twitter's San Francisco headquarters.
"I do think that was part of the Hamas calculation, to provoke Israel to respond, to defend itself, which any nation has to do if you are under attack like that. And then we see the unfortunate effects of any conflict with innocent people being caught in the crossfires," she said.
Earlier in the day, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 — although she has not yet declared her intention to run — stopped by the Menlo Park headquarters of Facebook
for another social media town hall.
While Clinton's statements on Israel were the strongest to date, they were not the first. During a somewhat combative interview on Comedy Central's "The Daily Show"
last week, she told host Jon Stewart that the residents of Gaza were in an extremely tough spot.
"They're trapped by their leadership, unfortunately. They have leadership that is committed to resistance and violence, and therefore their actions are mostly about, how do we get new and better missiles to launch them at Israel instead of saying, hey let's try and figure out how we're going to make your lives better."
She said the "Israelis are absolutely right in saying they can't just sit there and let rockets rain down" on their country.
Former President Bill Clinton also weighed in on the Gaza conflict in an interview on India's NDTV network.
"Hamas was perfectly well aware what would happen if they started raining rockets on Israel. They fired a thousand of them, and they have a strategy designed to force Israel to kill their own civilians so that the rest of the world will condemn them," said Clinton, according to The Jerusalem Post.
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