WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, today released the following statement supporting Israel's right to defend itself in response to terrorist attacks from Gaza. Menendez also cosponsored a resolution with Senators Gillibrand and Kirk expressing the Senate's unwavering commitment to the security of the State of Israel, supporting its inherent right to self-defense, and calling for the end of terrorist rocket and missile attacks on Israel from Gaza.

"For years now, the terrorists in Hamas-controlled Gaza have refused to recognize Israel's right to exist and have launched thousands of rockets and missiles at Israel and innocent civilians in southern Israel. In just the last year, more than 700 rockets and missile shells have been launched from Gaza into Israel - resulting in the senseless destruction of countless homes and the tragic loss of innocent lives. In the face of this undeterred threat, we must again recognize Israel's absolute and inherent right to defend itself and demand that Hamas immediately renounce the use of violence and recognize Israel's right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state. Furthermore, the United Nations Security Council and regional neighbors, like Egypt and Turkey, should condemn Hamas' escalation of rocket and missile attacks and call on Hamas to cease all of its terrorist activity."