JERUSALEM, Israel (CNN) - As Israel's prime minister-designate struggles to form a government, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton began a full day of meetings with Israeli political leaders.
At a morning meeting Tuesday with President Shimon Peres, Clinton repeated her warnings that rocket attacks from Gaza against Israel "must cease."
Clinton said she did not understand the motivation behind the attacks and called them cynical, adding that "any nation, including Israel, cannot stand idly by when its territory and people are subjected to rocket attacks."
Clinton, accompanied by the U.S. special envoy on Mideast peace, George Mitchell, said it is a sensitive time as Israel tries to form a new government.
"The democratic process has its ups and downs," she told Peres, but "I want you to know that we will work with the government of Israel that represents the democratic will of the people of Israel."
Peres expressed concern about security threats to Israel from Iran. Israeli officials worrying that the Obama administration might go too far in its efforts to talk with Iran. The Israeli media say Israel plans to present Clinton with proposed "red lines" on talks with Iran that would include harsher sanctions against Tehran and a "Plan B" if the U.S.-Iran dialogue does not work.
Also Tuesday, Clinton will meet with Kadima party leader Tzipi Livni, Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu, Labor party head Ehud Barak and outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Ohlmert.
Wednesday, she will visit the Palestinian-controlled West Bank, conferring with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.