By Rebecca Shabad - 07/28/14 07:37 AM EDT
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) on Monday said he thinks Secretary of State John Kerry has led Israel to believe they have been pursuing a cease-fire without support from the United States.
On MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Rogers was asked whether he thinks Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu aren’t on the same page.
“I think there’s always been a little bit of friction between Netanyahu and this administration,” Rogers said. “I think early on, some of the early cease-fire proposals, at least in Israel’s perspective, they didn’t recognize their security concerns, such as continuing their anti-tunneling operations. With that lack of consideration, I think they may believe they were going at this alone.”
Asked if he’s been comfortable with Kerry’s handling of the situation, Rogers said “I was not comfortable with the initial leaks — throwing out an agreement saying that one side or the other is supporting it.”
“I think you can find an agreement here, but you can’t find it by leaking one side, knowing that both sides of that equation are going to use that for their own purposes,” Rogers added.
The Times of Israel reported over the weekend that Israeli government sources accused Kerry of “completely capitulating” to Hamas’s demands in the draft of a cease-fire proposal Israel rejected Friday. U.S. officials immediately disputed those reports.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki tweeted Monday that the draft ideas Kerry proposed last week were “nearly identical” to the Egyptian cease-fire proposal offered initially in July, which Israel accepted and Hamas rejected.
Rogers was asked if the conflict is a “no-win situation,” and he said, “it’s certainly complex.”
He argued Hamas has been hiding rockets in schools, mosques and hospitals, thereby putting civilians in danger. He said without the U.S.-funded Iron Dome system in Israel, there would be many more casualties.
“If it weren’t for the Iron Dome, the anti-missile system, there would be thousands and thousands and thousands of more civilian deaths,” Rogers said.
Rogers’s comments come the day after the U.N. Security Council agreed on a resolution urging a humanitarian truce. After a five-hour lull however, Haaretz reports rocket sirens went off in several Israeli communities near the Gaza border on Monday.