US Secretary of State: Essential to de-escalate Gaza conflict
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday it was "essential to de-escalate" the conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, dpa reported.
She said she arrived in Jerusalem with a "clear message" from President Barack Obama of "rock-solid" and "unwavering" support for Israel's right to defend itself.
Calling for the rocket attacks on Israel to stop, she said she would work with the parties in the region, including Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in Cairo Wednesday, toward a "durable" ceasefire, guaranteeing security for residents of southern Israel and quality of life for those in Gaza.
Netanyahu reiterated he would prefer a "long-term" truce over a ground offensive in Gaza, but would not shrink from launching one if necessary. He also thanked Clinton for Washington's support of the Iron Dome missile defence system, which shot down hundreds of the more than 1,000 missiles launched at Israel over the past seven days.