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Obama: "Preferable" to avoid Israeli ground invasion of Gaza

Published on Nov 18, 2012 10:00 PM

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - President Barack Obama insisted on Sunday that Israel had a right to defend itself but said it would be "preferable" to avoid an Israeli ground offensive in Gaza.

He said persuading Israel not to attack would depend on the success of efforts by Middle East leaders to bring a halt to Hamas rocket fire into Israel.

"There's no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders,"

Mr Obama told a news conference during a visit to Thailand. "We are fully supportive of Israel's right to defend itself."

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