WASHINGTON, July 30, 2014 —
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has called for a humanitarian cease-fire that would lead to a permanent end to the fighting in Gaza as well as the disarmament of Hamas.
Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby said Hagel called for the cease-fire and expressed concern about the rising number of Palestinian civilian deaths as well as the loss of Israeli lives during a phone call today with Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon. At the same time, Kirby said Hagel also reiterated U.S. support for Israel's security and its right to self defense and said that any process to resolve the crisis in Gaza in a lasting and meaningful way must lead to the disarmament of Hamas and all terrorist groups.
Kirby said Minister Yaalon thanked Hagel for his support for the defense of Israel, in particular the Iron Dome anti-missile system.