Clinton says Israel has been provoked

 

Hillary Clinton on Monday night defended Israel, saying the country has been provoked by Hamas. 

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She has also called for a cease-fire between the two sides, after two weeks of rocket fire and a ground invasion by Israel. 

“I do think that was part of the Hamas calculation, to provoke Israel to respond to defend itself, which any nation has to do if you are under attack like that," she said during an interview with a Twitter official, according to reports

Clinton said she hoped social media could be a tool of negotiation in diplomacy. However, she said many today use it as a weapon. 

“It is a fact of social media right now that too often people use it as a weapon, instead of an opportunity," she said. "And maybe one of the ways we can think together about the next phase in the development of social media is as a tool of outreach, a tool of reconciliation, a tool of negotiation, and maybe even resolution."

According to reports, around 570 Palestinians and nearly 30 Israelis have been killed. An Israel defense official told The Associated Press an Israeli soldier went missing after a battle in Gaza on Monday. 

"I hope there can be a ceasefire soon to end the conflict," Clinton said earlier Monday on Facebook. "I negotiated the last cease-fire in November of 2012, which I write about in my book and am fully supportive of Secretary Kerry's efforts to work with the Egyptians to forge a new cease-fire."

Secretary of State John Kerry was in the region Monday to help negotiate a deal. In the meantime, the State Department announced it would provide $47 million in humanitarian assistance to Palestinians affected by the conflict. 

"We are deeply concerned about the consequences of Israel’s appropriate and legitimate effort to defend itself," Kerry said on Monday. 

"No country can stand by while rockets are attacking it and tunnels are dug in order to come into your country and assault your people," he added. "But always, in any kind of conflict there is a concern about civilians, about children, women, communities that are caught in it."