Pompeo says Israel has right to defend itself

Pompeo says Israel has right to defend itself
© Greg Nash

Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump cancels delegation's trip to Davos amid shutdown China 'not worried in the slightest' about concern over Canadian's death sentence The Hill's Morning Report — Shutdown fallout — economic distress MORE on Monday said Israel has a right to defend itself in response to questions about the shootings of Palestinian protesters near the Gaza Strip border that has left three people dead on Sunday.

“We do believe the Israelis have a right to defend themselves,” he said at a press availability with Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, according to Reuters.

In the last month, 39 Palestinians have been killed amid violent protests against the blockade of the Gaza Strip, according to The Washington Post. 

Pompeo also offered muted support for the two-state solution in the Middle East, though he said that would be up to the parties and not the United States.

“With respect to the two-state solution, the parties will ultimately make the decision. We are certainly open to a two-party solution as a likely outcome,” Pompeo said in Jordan after his visit to Israel.

Pompeo also urged the Palestinians to return to being politically engaged with Israel.

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump directed Cohen to lie to Congress about plans to build Trump Tower in Moscow during 2016 campaign: report DC train system losing 0k per day during government shutdown Senate Republicans eye rules change to speed Trump nominees MORE has said in the past that he would be open to a two-state solution to the conflict if both Israel and Palestine were to agree to such a plan.

However, Palestine has been unwilling to cooperate with the U.S. after Trump announced it was moving its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want as the capital of their own state.

Pompeo is currently finishing up a tour the Middle East, his first tour after being confirmed as secretary of State last week.