WASHINGTON - The United States Senate sent an overwhelming message of solidarity with Israel on Thursday with the passage by unanimous consent of a resolution introduced by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand and Mark Kirk.
The bipartisan resolution, with 62 Senators as co-sponsors joining the two, expressed firm support for Israel’s “inherent right to act in self-defense to protect its citizens against acts of terrorism.”
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"As a bipartisan group of Senators committed to Israel's security, we express our solidarity with Israel during this deeply challenging period and denounce the reprehensible and indiscriminate rocket attacks launched by Hamas and Islamic Jihad against innocent Israeli citizens," the senators said in a joint statement.
"These statements demonstrate that America continues to firmly stand with Israel and her right to defend herself," it said. "No nation can tolerate constant barrages of rockets against its civilian population."
AIPAC praised the Senate for its show of solidarity with Israel.
Also Thursday, White House spokesman Jay Carney said that Washington strongly condemns the firing of rockets at Israel and regrets the loss the lives. Carney said there was "no justification" to the violence by Hamas and other terror groups and called them to stop their "cowardly acts."
Meanwhile, Deputy State Department Spokesman Mark Toner said that the US has urged Egypt to use its influence in the region to help end the violence. "We ask Egypt to use its influence in the region to help de-escalate the situation Toner told reporters.
He noted that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had spoken with her Egyptian counterpart Mohammed Amr on Wednesday.
Earlier on Thursday, Cairo announced that Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Kandil will arrive in Gaza on Friday on the orders of President Mohammed Morsi.
AFP contributed to this report
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