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Obama: Peace best way to ensure Israel’s security

US President Barack Obama writes an op-ed in Haaretz on Tuesday morning in which he reiterates Washington’s commitment to the state of Israel and reaching a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The op-ed comes out a few hours after the IDF launched its Operation Protective Edge against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Obama elaborates the expanded security cooperation between the US and Israel, particularly in “cutting-edge defense systems like the Arrow interceptor system and Iron Dome,” which are making Israelis safer. The president says that the only guarantor of security for Israel, however, is peace with the Palestinians.

“Peace is necessary because it’s the only way to ensure a secure and democratic future for the Jewish state of Israel,” Obama writes. “While walls and missile defense systems can help protect against some threats, true safety will only come with a comprehensive negotiated settlement. Reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians would also help turn the tide of international sentiment and sideline violent extremists, further bolstering Israel’s security.”

Obama repeats his call for a comprehensive two-state solution, “a democratic, Jewish state living side-by-side in peace and security with a viable, independent Palestinian state.” He says Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is a partner for peace with Israel, and calls on the Palestinian government to uphold its commitment to non-violence, adherence to past agreements, and the recognition of Israel. Both sides must take risks for peace, though.

“It is never too late to seed the ground for peace—a true and living peace that exists not just in the plans of leaders, but in the hearts of all Israelis and Palestinians,” he says.

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