Bush backs 'unlimited' Israeli defence

US President George Bush has said Israel should not feel constrained in defending itself, amid rising regional tensions.

    US president has given Israel unflinching support

    Bush on Monday said he backed Israel's right to "self-defence". His remarks came after an Israeli air raid the day before on an alleged training camp for Palestinian fighters in Syria.

    The Israeli raid followed a Palestinian bombing that killed 19 people in Israel on Saturday.

    The US president's comments will concern Arab governments and other critics of Israel, as they appear to endorse actions such as Sunday's airstrike in Syria.

    The Israeli attack was widely condemned by the international community except in the US.

    Avoiding escalation

    Bush said he had told Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on Sunday that Israel should not feel constrained in defending itself.

    "However, I said that it's very important that any action Israel take [sic] should avoid escalation and creating higher tensions," Bush said in Washington.

    White House spokesman Scott McClellan said the United States had urged both Israel and Syria to avoid "actions that heighten tensions or that could lead to hostilities".

    But tensions continued to rise throughout Monday. The Israeli army said one of its soldiers had been shot dead at Israel's border with Lebanon, and military sources blamed his death on Hizb Allah guerrillas backed by Iran and Syria.

    Hizb Allah denied its forces had been involved in any shooting.

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Cricket World Cup 2019 Quiz: How many runs can you score?

    Cricket World Cup 2019 Quiz: How many runs can you score?

    Pick your team and answer as many correct questions in three minutes.

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Visualising every Saudi coalition air raid on Yemen

    Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab states have launched more than 19,278 air raids across Yemen.

    Remembering Chernobyl

    Remembering Chernobyl

    The fallout from the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion remains as politicised as ever, 28 years on.