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Gates in Israel: No State Would Tolerate This

US Secretary of Defense meets Barak, Peres, tells reporters: "No sovereign state can tolerate having rockets fired at its people."
By Gil Ronen and Yoni Kempinski
First Publish: 3/24/2011, 6:32 PM / Last Update: 3/24/2011, 6:29 PM

United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates arrived in Israel Thursday and spoke to reporters alongside his Israeli counterpart Ehud Barak.


"No sovereign state can tolerate having rockets fired at its people," said Gates, after Barak voiced similar sentiments. 
 
Gates is in the Middle East assessing the situation in the region as a wave of uprisings shakes the Arab world.
 
He was scheduled to meet President Shimon Peres later Thursday and to meet Friday with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
 
Gates, who has said this is his last year in his post, arrived from Cairo, where he met with the interim military leadership in Egypt that assumed power after President Hosni Mubarak was ousted.

The escalation in missile attacks from Gaza may reflect a growing sense of confidence that terrorists in the Hamas-ruled entity feel, after the upheaval in Egypt. Egypt's interim foreign minister, Nabil Al-Arabi, has expressed support for opening the border with Gaza. This could allow weapons to flow into Gaza unchecked.