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Obama pledges to support Israel Photo: AFP
Obama pledges to support Israel Photo: AFP

Obama arrives in Israel; justifies attack on suspected Syrian nuclear site

'There was some concern as to what the rationale for that site would be,' US Presidential hopeful says prior to his arrival in Israel. On Jerusalem bulldozer attack: I strongly condemn it and will always support Israel in confronting terrorism

Roni Sofer and agencies
Latest Update: 07.23.08, 07:37 / Israel News

Barack Obama justified Israel's air strike on a suspected Syrian nuclear site last year, saying "I think that there was sufficient evidence that they were developing a site using a nuclear or using … a blueprint that was similar to the North Korean model."


In an interview with CBS, conducted prior to his arrival in Israel Tuesday night, the US Democratic presidential hopeful said "there was some concern as to what the rationale for that site would be. And, again, ultimately, I think these are decisions that the Israelis have to make.


"The Israelis live in a very tough neighborhood where a lot of folks publicly proclaim Israel as an enemy and then act on those proclamations," he said.


Earlier Tuesday Obama condemned the bulldozer attack in Jerusalem and said he would always support Israel in "confronting terrorism."


"I strongly condemn this attack and will always support Israel in confronting terrorism and pursuing lasting peace and security," Obama told a news conference in Amman, Jordan.

Terror Strikes
18 injured in Jerusalem bulldozer attack / Efrat Weiss
(video) Once again: Bulldozer driver runs wild on Jerusalem's King David Street, crashing into cars; at least 18 people injured, one sustaining moderate to serious wounds. Civilian, Border Guard officers shoot terrorist to death
Full story


Nonetheless, the Illinois senator pledged to work to reach a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians from his first day in office but said it would be difficult.


"The Israeli government is unsettled. The Palestinians are divided between Fatah and Hamas. And so it's difficult for either side to make the bold move that would bring about peace,” he said.


Obama arrived in Jordan Tuesday afternoon where he met with Jordan’s King Abdullah. While in Israel, the presidential hopeful is expected to stay at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, very close to the location of Tuesday’s terror attack in the capital.


As part of his tour, Obama will visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum. He is expected to travel with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, visit Sderot with Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, eat dinner with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and visit the Western Wall.


Contrary to his opponent, Republican presidential hopeful John McCain, Obama will tour the West Bank and meet with the Palestinian leadership as well.


First Published: 07.22.08, 19:36


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