We are relieved that an agreement has been reached today in Cairo to end months of lethal rocket fire from Gaza into Israel.  For too long, over half of Israel’s population has lived under a constant threat of fire.  No nation should have to endure such an intolerable situation.  Like any other country, Israel has the inalienable right and obligation to defend its citizens from attack.

Today’s agreement, which is guaranteed by the Islamist Egyptian government of President Mohamed Morsi, will require Hamas to halt all violence emanating from Gaza into Israel.  As the rulers of Gaza, this means Hamas is responsible both for themselves and the other jihadist terrorist groups within Gaza.  In exchange, Israel will return quiet for quiet.  Hopefully, this will mean that the innocent civilians of Gaza, for whom Hamas has cynically used as human shields, will be able to live their lives in peace as well.

We echo the comments made today by Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu who rightfully thanked President Barack Obama for his unqualified support of Israel as she exercised her sovereign right of self-defense.  In particular, Prime Minister Netanyahu praised the United States for working with Israel to develop the Iron Dome anti-missile system, which successfully intercepted 400 rockets and missiles purposefully aimed at Israel’s civilian population over the past eight days.  The Prime Minister also rightly thanked Secretary of State Hilary Clinton for her work in indefatigably negotiating today’s agreement.  We also share Israel’s appreciation for Egypt’s role in resolving the current crisis.

As we move forward, we know that a true and lasting peace can only be achieved by a permanent and complete cessation of violence.  This means that the international community must ensure that Iranian attempts to rearm Hamas and the other jihadi terrorists are thwarted. Israelis and Palestinians all deserve to live in peace with security.  Accordingly, the JCRC encourages the Palestinian Authority to return to the negotiating table so that a two-state solution can be reached.

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