Obama declares support for Israel during Mideast trip - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Obama declares support for Israel during Mideast trip

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Israeli President Shimon Peres welcomed Obama. Israeli President Shimon Peres welcomed Obama.
TEL AVIV -

President Obama says the United States will stand by Israel as its "strongest ally" and its "greatest friend." Analysts say the president is visiting Israel to smooth over what's been a rocky relationship.

Israeli President Shimon Peres welcomed Obama, declaring that "A world without America's leadership, without her moral voice, would be a darker world. A world without your friendship, would invite aggression against Israel."

Peres also told Obama Israel trusts his policy to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

After being greeted by Peres, Obama made a short trip across the runway at Tel Aviv's airport to inspect an iron dome battery.

The iron dome missile battery was set up at the airport for the president to see. The program is partially US funded and is designed to shoot down incoming missiles and rockets.

Israel's "iron shield" was put on display in November of last year when Gaza-based militants fired hundreds of rockets into the Jewish state.

According to the Israeli military, the iron dome downed 90 percent of the short range rockets fired by militants in Gaza.

The president joked to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he was "getting away from Congress."

But in a veiled reference to tensions and regime changes in the region, he added: "The winds of change bring both promise and peril."

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