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Kerry makes mic gaffe on Gaza assault
Published Monday 21/07/2014 (updated) 22/07/2014 18:03
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WASHINGTON (AFP) -- US Secretary of State John Kerry appeared to criticize Israel in candid remarks caught on an open microphone between television interviews Sunday.

Kerry was heard talking about Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza to a State Department official identified as Jonathan Finer just before appearing on the "Fox News Sunday" political talk show.

"I hope they don't think that's an invitation to go do more," Kerry says. "That better be the warning to them."

A frustrated Kerry then says: "It's a hell of a pinpoint operation, it's a hell of a pinpoint operation," in apparent frustration over the civilian toll in the Israeli operation.

The Palestinian death toll topped 500 on Sunday as Israel pressed a ground offensive into the densely packed Gaza Strip after two weeks of aerial attacks.

"We've got to get over there," Kerry is heard saying on the Sunday recording. "I think, Jon, we ought to go tonight. I think it's crazy to be sitting around. Let's go."

When confronted over the remarks by Fox host Chris Wallace, Kerry reiterated Israel's right to self-defense.

"I think it's very, very difficult in these situations, obviously very difficult," Kerry said.

"You have people who've come out of tunnels. You have a right to go in and take out those tunnels. We completely support that. And we support Israel's right to defend itself against rockets that are continuing to come in. Hamas has started this process of rocketing, after Israel was trying to find the people who killed three young -- you know, one American kid, three young Israeli citizens. It's disgraceful," Kerry said.

"It’s tough to have this kind of operation. I reacted obviously in a way that ... anybody does with respect to young children and civilians.

"But war is tough, and I've said that publicly and I've said it again. We defend Israel's right to do what it is doing in order to get at those tunnels," Kerry said.

Kerry then urged Hamas to "step up and be reasonable and understand that you accept the cease-fire, you save lives."

Kerry traveled to Cairo early Monday for crisis talks on Gaza, following President Barack Obama's call for an "immediate ceasefire" between Israelis and Palestinians in the conflict.
1 ) Carol Scheller / Switzerland
21/07/2014 14:37
No gaffe in my opinion.

2 ) Raheem / Uk
21/07/2014 15:23

3 ) sylvia / uk
21/07/2014 15:37
It's the "same old, same old" that I've been hearing ALL MY LIFE from successive US administrations. The Palestinian people are BEYOND brave and I just HOPE that Hamas learned from the Shalit "swap" that you can NEVER trust the Israelis. This time they MUST stick out for ALL their demands - including a UN border force ALL along the border between Gaza and Israel - before that relinquish this poor Israeli squaddie.

4 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
21/07/2014 16:23
The bottom line of this story is not Kerry, it's not Israel - it's Hamas: Kerry then urged Hamas to "step up and be reasonable and understand that you accept the cease-fire, you save lives." But everybody knows Hamas is a jihadist movement and their goal is not a modern developed Palestine with jobs for all and good schools and health care. Their goal is jihad and martyrdom. They would be happy to see most Palestinians and all Israelis dead, and the surviviors tending goats among the ruins.

5 ) David / USA
21/07/2014 16:27
Kerry is a fool. In order to kill 2 bad guys in Iraq, the US would destroy an entire neighborhood. The USA has no moral 'high ground' to tell Israel to do anything. Kerry SHOULD be telling Hamas to stop the terrorist commando raids into Israel and stop the rocket attacks. If Hamas did stop, Israeli attacks would stop in 10 minutes. Hamas will be destroyed and it doesn't care how much of Gaza it takes with it. What 'leaders.'

6 ) Maureen / Australia
21/07/2014 16:53
What happened. - did Kerry have a moment of truth and saw the blood of the innocent on Uncle Sam's hands?

7 ) Cameron / Oz
21/07/2014 17:04
Why is it called a gaffe if the Americans are caught speaking honestly about Israel?

8 ) hang / israeli firsters
21/07/2014 17:19
Kerry is a zionist

9 ) @ My Senator Kerry / Connecticut
21/07/2014 17:43
When Islamic Militants killed Americans, it was "an invitation to" Act, and
When Islamic Militants kill Israelis, it Is "an invitation to" Act, and
* THOUGH ISRAEL WANTS PEACE, it's not a realistic option,
while Hamas continues to rule Gaza, so despite your unrealistic "hopes",
until Israeli civilians are safe again !!

10 ) carlos / usa
21/07/2014 18:42
This means Kerry understands israel is committing genocide and he will not lift a finger to help the victims. Kerry is a sleaze!

11 ) tom kauser / usa
21/07/2014 19:15
AN OPEN MIC and a useless assclown and its news?

12 ) Micahel / Italy
21/07/2014 20:18
How come we the viewers don't get to hear how many Hamas Soldiers have been killed in this war? We only hear citizens in Gaza. Is this part of your agreement --- to NEVER state how many Hamas soldiers have been killed in the conflict and just focus on citizens instead?

13 ) Mel / USA
21/07/2014 20:23
Oh puleeez! That was no accident,lol! It was rigged. Delibarate!,LOL! Kerry is such a bad liar! He KNEW he was ON-AIR! He knew what he was saying,was ON-MIC! He;'s such a Bean-Fart!Total BS,Kerry.He's trying to save FACE for his huge DIPLO-failures.The ONLY way is to try & look anti-Zionist 'lefty'on a radical RIGHT/fascist TV station(Faux)to escape accountability for his crimes &wastage of US tax-money pretending to 'Let's Go'& be democratic!! Totally rigged Heinz BS!(Bean Sh*t).MURDERER!

14 ) Non Jew / England
21/07/2014 22:38
Kerry is almost as pointless as Obama and equally as cowardly.Why don't they just ditch their attachment and fawning toward the racist Israeli Jews. It will cost them and the USA eventually. Even US support for Apartheid and segregation and slavery fell out of fashion and you can hardly find anyone but the USA and Israel keen on behaving like racial supremacists still. FREE PALESTINE soon , please God of Justice.

15 ) christian palestinian / usa
22/07/2014 01:31
John Kerry is a fraud working 100% for apartheid israel, NOT america.

16 ) Mel / USA
22/07/2014 03:04
Cont: How's this for a mic "gaffe" Kerry?
These terrible threats to Jewish-only Israel!
You helped kill this baby &SO MANY MORE,not to mention their WHOLE FAMILIES! Just for NOT being Jewish &having something Zionism &YOU covet.

17 ) gabi / australia
22/07/2014 03:53
"Hamas has started this process of rocketing, after Israel was trying to find the people who killed three young -- you know, one American kid, three young Israeli citizens. It's disgraceful," Kerry said. Erm . . Israel started firing at Gaza and THEN the rockets started. Get it right, Kerry. (Actually, you did get it right - at first - but then had to give in to Zionist pressure to cut down the truth of what you said. Pity."

18 ) Sunrise Gypsy / USA
22/07/2014 06:47
Why in hell's name would the Palestinians agree to remain in the staus quo, with IsraHell blockading them and bombing them everytime Netanyawhore has a temper tantrum? It;s actually HAMAS who reacted reasonably to Israel and Egypt's pitiful excuse for a "cease-fire".

19 ) swan / us
22/07/2014 07:23
simple logic israel has the right to defend from palestinian attack and the palestinians has the right to defend from the israel atrocities.shame on you

20 ) James / UK
22/07/2014 07:40
US politics, as two-faced as usual!!! These so-called world leaders don't have the balls to stand up for what is right, let alone what they may actually believe in!!!

21 ) Majibar Rahman / India
22/07/2014 10:56
Now at the bidding of modern Hitler ogre Netaneyahu John Kerry is upset over the loss of a few Jews. To him as weell as to Obama Jewish blodd is much more valuable than Palestinians'. Hamas must inflict more casualty on their enemies and the Muslim counyries must come out of their cocoons stand by their brethren in need.
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