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President Barack Obama Affirms U.S. Commitment to Israel, Urges Peace

American President Barack Obama published an exclusive op-ed in Israeli newspaper Haaretz on Tuesdayaffirming America’s financial support for Israel, calling for restraint, and urging Israelis not to abandon the pursuit of peace.

The article, which was originally penned in late June for Haaretz‘s Conference on Peace, was amended to include references to the three kidnapped and murdered Israeli teens, Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach, as well as 16-year-old Palestinian Mohammed Hussein Abu Khdeir, who was killed in a brutal vigilante attack on July 2.

“Budgets in Washington are tight, but our commitment to Israel’s security remains ironclad,” wrote the President. “The United States is committed to providing more than $3 billion each year to help finance Israel’s security through 2018. Across the board, our unprecedented security cooperation is making Israel safer, and American investments in Israel’s cutting-edge defense systems like the Arrow interceptor system and Iron Dome are saving lives.”

He went on to describe peace as “necessary, just, and possible… because it’s the only way to ensure a secure and democratic future for the Jewish state of Israel… Just as the Israeli people have the right to live in the historic homeland of the Jewish people, the Palestinian people deserve the right to self-determination. Palestinian children have hopes and dreams for their future and deserve to live with the dignity that can only come with a state of their own… All parties must exercise restraint and work together to maintain stability on the ground.”

Read the full piece here.

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