By Kristina Wong - 07/22/14 05:37 PM EDT
Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer responded on Tuesday to Secretary of State John Kerry's hot-mic moment over the weekend, where he appeared to criticize Israel's military campaign against Hamas.
Dermer said that Kerry has publicly and privately supported Israel's right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Hamas, and has compared it to his war experience in Vietnam.
"I saw that clip, it wasn't clear to me what he was actually looking at. I can only tell you I've spoken to the secretary personally, and the prime minister has a number of times," Dermer said.
"I can't remember exactly the language that he used, but somebody who, as somebody who has fought in wars, he understands that you can have civilian casualties, that that's the nature also of warfare," Dermer said at a breakfast with reporters on Tuesday.
"So I don't know what he was looking at and why, but I can only tell you we've gotten very strong backing both, you know, in public and behind the scenes for our right to defend itself from both President Obama and from Secretary Kerry," Dermer said.
On Sunday, Kerry had said to an aide while hooked up to microphones for an interview on "Fox News Sunday": “It's a hell of a pin-point operation, it's a hell of a pin-point operation.”