January 22nd, 2009
03:00 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama says U.S. will actively seek peace between Israel, Palestinians

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama weighed in Thursday on the conflict between Israel and Hamas, urging Israel to open Gaza border crossings and telling the Islamic fundamentalist organization to stop rocket fire into the Jewish state.

He urged Israel to allow the flow of aid and commerce into the Palestinian territory. "Our hearts go out to Palestinian civilians who are in need of immediate food, clean water and basic medical care," he said.

The crossings should be opened with an "appropriate monitoring," he said. Obama also said Hamas leaders, for their part, must put an end to rocket attacks.

The president said he will send former Sen. George Mitchell, who was appointed Thursday as special envoy for Middle East peace, to the region as soon as possible.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Veronica

    You make me proud,Sir!

    January 22, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  2. John

    Perhaps the Palestinian Hamas leadership will realize that their BEST Hope for Peace and a Palestinian Country is to engage with the new American Administration now.

    I know it's hard to give up years of hatred since my family was from Ireland and all I ever heard of growing up was the hatred of England but, history shows opportunities for a fair deal don't come along very often and President Obama offers you that hope right now.

    January 22, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  3. JC

    I figured Oprah would go to the Middle East; the Jews and Muslims would all sing and hold hands, and problem resolved.

    January 22, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  4. Virginia

    Ain't gonna happen-not meant to be.

    January 22, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  5. Helene

    President Obama will settle the Middle East conflict fairly. He has all my confidence and I get up every day happy and thankful that he has been elected.

    January 22, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  6. I'm Dan Rather ... Courage

    Question: How many Presidents have had the courage to do this AT THE BEGINNING of their terms?

    Answer : ZERO. This man has more fortitude than anyone to hold the office in a long, long time.

    January 22, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  7. Jim Harvey

    King of the World Obama... Getting himself into deep doodoo.

    January 22, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. Rob

    Better make sure Hillary gets that refresher course on how to dodge sniper fire (both real and imaginary) before she heads over there. And make sure she doesn't take the plane Biden took to Iraq, I hear that's a favorite target of the 'terrorists'.

    January 22, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  9. BB

    You mean the Shrub and Darth didn't miraculously accomplish this the last day? Oh well –

    January 22, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. Chris from NY

    Good luck to you on that one Mr. President. I hope you succeed where others have failed.

    January 22, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  11. JC

    Never thought I'd see the day a US president gets it – both sides need to shape up and do things differently. 60 years of bashing their heads on the same wall and neither side has had the wisdom or courage to stop banging their heads and think about alternative ways to live with one another. As someone once said doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results is the definition of insanity.

    January 22, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  12. Steele Curtain

    Appoints Mitchell, closes Gitmo.

    The Great Surrender has begun.

    January 22, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  13. P. Y.

    Good luck Mr. President !
    I'm not sure that either one of these countries truly wants peace.

    January 22, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  14. Matt

    Israel needs to be given an ultimatum that will cost them 100% of our support if they continue their treatment of the Palestinian people this way....end of story. Enough is Enough.

    January 22, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  15. EC

    You know what?

    Both the Palestinians and Israel STARTED this whole conflict, and they can certainly END IT, or come to some agreeable resolution.

    Both of these countries SHOULD use some basic common sense. WHAT the hell are they fighting over a piece of LAND that only GOD OWNS!!!

    They continue to fight over a LAND that will be there till the end of time. HOW MANY men, woman and children have to die before they realize how STUPID the argument on both sides is? I mean really? HOW many lives will be lost over this fight over a piece of land?
    It's really ignorant on all levels.

    The BIG MALE EGOS is the root of all evil, they start something and then never want to end it. How utterly stupid.

    January 22, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  16. carol

    Thank God, at last Palestine has been recognized as well as Israel in this conflict, I think George Mitchell will do a good job and it will be no easy task for him as it was no easy task with the IRA in Ireland.
    That proves that diplomacy does work given the chance, nothing about it is easy but if the outcome is lasting peace then that is what we want for the whole region,another great move by Prez Obama.

    January 22, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  17. vi

    I think he should worry more about israel and palestine and iran now and less about guanatamo bay. Nobody is at war with guantamo bay. Israel and Palestine are and have been. Take care of bigger matters first

    January 22, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  18. Larry from RI

    This man has been in office for 2-days and is already taking on another problem that Dubbya has ignored for the past 8-years – and there are many!

    January 22, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  19. Vi

    Ithink obama should worry more about israel, iran and palestine right now then guantamo bay. Isreal and palestine have been at war for thousands of years. Do i see a war with guantamo bay.No. We need guanatamo bay!!!! Obama when he was running never talked about it. Israel and palestine are in a crisis right now. The stock market too!!

    January 22, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  20. TomD

    @Jim Harvey

    LOL!! So Bush wouldn't have interfered? He proclaimed himself dictator of the world. End-running NATO, our allies, and the constitution to interfere in other lands.

    January 22, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  21. jan 22nd

    -with people like hillary in charge...i really don't blelieve in peace..

    January 22, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  22. Greta Palinannitylimbaughbeck

    Maybe he can also negotiate a peace treaty between Little Miss Ice Chip Also-Too-Such-As Palin and "the media". She allegedly despises them so vehemently but now wants to pen a book deal with them.

    January 22, 2009 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  23. Bev

    We're looking more like France every day....Scary

    January 22, 2009 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  24. John in Washington

    Let's see if he pulls a Jimmy Carter, and convinces the Israelis to give up land for peace, again. Yeah, that one really worked Jimmy... Obama will follow suit, trust me.

    January 22, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  25. Mo

    i admire his courage. Finally, someone spoke for poor Phalestinian's people that they are human too and they have the right to the very basic human needs.
    He is a man of honestly and fairness and i hope he'll be able to spread the justic and human rights through out the world once more.
    Portland, or

    January 22, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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