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Elizabeth Warren defends Israeli airstrikes on schools and hospitals

"America has a very special relationship with Israel. Israel lives in a very dangerous part of the world, and a part of the world where there aren't many liberal democracies and democracies that are controlled by the rule of law. And we very much need an ally in that part of the world."
By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |   Aug. 29, 2014 at 1:38 PM
HYANNIS, Mass., Aug. 29 (UPI) -- Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., defended her decision to fund Israel and its airstrikes in Gaza during a town hall she hosted on Aug. 21.

Speaking at the Barnstable Town Hall in Cape Cod, Warren fielded questions about her vote to send more funds and weapons to Israel despite the high number of Palestinian civilian casualties. Israel faced scrutiny after hitting U.N. schools and hospitals, killing dozens of Palestinian women, children and non-combatant men.

"I think the vote was right, and I'll tell you why I think the vote was right," Warren said. "America has a very special relationship with Israel. Israel lives in a very dangerous part of the world, and a part of the world where there aren't many liberal democracies and democracies that are controlled by the rule of law. And we very much need an ally in that part of the world."

Israel said Hamas is using civilian shields to hide its weapons and command centers. Warren said this assertion justifies Israel's actions.

"But when Hamas puts its rocket launchers next to hospitals, next to schools, they're using their civilian population to protect their military assets. And I believe Israel has a right, at that point, to defend itself," she said.

Warren stressed that civilian casualties are the "last thing Israel wants."

Many speculate that Warren, who is known mostly for her domestic policy regarding Wall Street and big banks, will throw her hat in the ring for the 2016 Democratic presidential primary. If she runs, she will likely face former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Despite the speculation, Warren has repeatedly said she will remain in the Senate.

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