Obama: Civilian deaths in Gaza, Israel "source of deep concern"

The president-elect speaks for the first time about the ongoing violence.

By Alex Koppelman

Published January 6, 2009 7:44PM (EST)

It took a while -- longer than some partisans on both sides wanted -- but Barack Obama has now spoken publicly about the situation in Gaza.

"I'm very concerned with the conflict taking place there, I'm monitoring the situation on a day to day basis," the president-elect told reporters, continuing:

The loss of civilian life in Gaza and in Israel is a source of deep concern to me. After January 20th I'm going to have plenty to say about the issue, and I am not backing away at all from what I said during the campaign, that starting at the beginning of our administration, we are going to be engaged effectively and consistently in trying to resolve the conflict in the Middle East...

So on January 20th you'll be hearing directly from me on this issue. Until then, my job is to monitor the situation and put together the best possible national security team so we hit the ground running on national security issues.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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