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As the Israeli-Palestinian conflict intensifies, what role should the U.S. play?

by AirTalk

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A Palestinian woman mourns after an Israeli air strike destroyed her house in the town of Jabalia, in the northern Gaza Strip, on November 19, 2012. MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images

Israel’s military campaign in the Gaza Strip intensified over the weekend, with the Palestinian death toll rising past 90 and drones hovering over the city. Israel’s targeting of Hamas has surged to a level not seen since four years ago. Civilians and leadership on both sides have expressed worry that the most recent conflict could turn into a ground war.

President Obama has expressed his support for Israel and its right to defend its citizens against Hamas, but warned that increased attacks in the Gaza Strip could be detrimental for both Israelis and Palestinians. Neighboring nations Egypt and Tunisia have spoken up against the Israeli attack in Gaza, and although the strike continues, rumors of truce talks are in the air. The UN dispatched Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to Cairo to aid in peace talks.

What role should the United States play in this conflict? How important is the relationship between the U.S. and Israel – does it warrant unqualified support? How might Egypt’s new leadership change negotiations in the Middle East?



Edmund Sanders, Jerusalem Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times

Borzou Daragahi, Middle East and North Africa correspondent for the Financial Times based in Cairo

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