Obama condemns Tel Aviv bus strike

  • In this image made from Egyptian State Television, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr, right, give a joint news conference announcing a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. Egypt has announced a cease-fire agreement to end a week of fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr said the truce would take effect at 9 p.m. local time (2 p.m. EDT.) He made the announcement alongside visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. (AP Photo/Egyptian State Television)In this image made from Egyptian State Television, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr, right, give a joint news conference announcing a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. Egypt has announced a cease-fire agreement to end a week of fighting between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr said the truce would take effect at 9 p.m. local time (2 p.m. EDT.) He made the announcement alongside visiting U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. (AP Photo/Egyptian State Television)
  • Israeli rescue workers and paramedics carry a wounded person from the site of a bombing in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. A bomb ripped through an Israeli bus near the nation's military headquarters in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding several people, Israeli officials said. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)Israeli rescue workers and paramedics carry a wounded person from the site of a bombing in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. A bomb ripped through an Israeli bus near the nation's military headquarters in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding several people, Israeli officials said. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
  • A destroyed bus is seen at the site of a bombing in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. A bomb ripped through an Israeli bus near the nation's military headquarters in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding several people, Israeli officials said. The blast came amid a weeklong Israeli offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza.(AP Photo/Dan Balilty)A destroyed bus is seen at the site of a bombing in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. A bomb ripped through an Israeli bus near the nation's military headquarters in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding several people, Israeli officials said. The blast came amid a weeklong Israeli offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza.(AP Photo/Dan Balilty)
  • Israeli police officers examine a blown up bus at the site of a bombing in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. A bomb ripped through an Israeli bus near the nation's military headquarters in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding at several people, Israeli officials said. The blast came amid a weeklong Israeli offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)Israeli police officers examine a blown up bus at the site of a bombing in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. A bomb ripped through an Israeli bus near the nation's military headquarters in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding at several people, Israeli officials said. The blast came amid a weeklong Israeli offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
  • In this photo released by the Egyptian Presidency, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, meets with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, right, and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr, left, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has arrived in Cairo in her diplomatic push to forge a truce between Israel and Gaza rulers of Hamas. Her visit comes hours after a bomb exploded on an Israeli bus in Tel Aviv, wounding several. Clinton is looking to piece together a deal to end Israel's weeklong offensive in the Gaza Strip. Clinton said the U.S. "strongly condemns" today's bus bombing, calling it a "terrorist attack." (AP Photo/Egyptian Presidency)In this photo released by the Egyptian Presidency, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, center, meets with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, right, and Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr, left, in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has arrived in Cairo in her diplomatic push to forge a truce between Israel and Gaza rulers of Hamas. Her visit comes hours after a bomb exploded on an Israeli bus in Tel Aviv, wounding several. Clinton is looking to piece together a deal to end Israel's weeklong offensive in the Gaza Strip. Clinton said the U.S. "strongly condemns" today's bus bombing, calling it a "terrorist attack." (AP Photo/Egyptian Presidency)
  • An Israeli security officer stands next to a blown up bus at the site of a bombing in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. A bomb ripped through an Israeli bus near the nation's military headquarters in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding several people, Israeli officials said. The blast came amid a weeklong Israeli offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)An Israeli security officer stands next to a blown up bus at the site of a bombing in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. A bomb ripped through an Israeli bus near the nation's military headquarters in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding several people, Israeli officials said. The blast came amid a weeklong Israeli offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
  • Israeli rescue workers and paramedics carry an injured woman  from the site of a bombing in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. A bomb ripped through an Israeli bus near the nation's military headquarters in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding several people, Israeli officials said. The blast came amid a weeklong Israeli offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza that has killed more than 130 Palestinians. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)Israeli rescue workers and paramedics carry an injured woman from the site of a bombing in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. A bomb ripped through an Israeli bus near the nation's military headquarters in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding several people, Israeli officials said. The blast came amid a weeklong Israeli offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza that has killed more than 130 Palestinians. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
  • Israelis look at a blown up bus at the site of a bombing in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. A bomb ripped through an Israeli bus near the nation's military headquarters in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding at several people, Israeli officials said. The blast came amid a weeklong Israeli offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)Israelis look at a blown up bus at the site of a bombing in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. A bomb ripped through an Israeli bus near the nation's military headquarters in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding at several people, Israeli officials said. The blast came amid a weeklong Israeli offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)
  • Israeli police and security personnel stand next to a destroyed bus at the site of a bombing in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. A bomb ripped through an Israeli bus near the nation's military headquarters in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding several people, Israeli officials said. The blast came amid a weeklong Israeli offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza.(AP Photo/Dan Balilty)Israeli police and security personnel stand next to a destroyed bus at the site of a bombing in Tel Aviv, Israel, Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012. A bomb ripped through an Israeli bus near the nation's military headquarters in Tel Aviv on Wednesday, wounding several people, Israeli officials said. The blast came amid a weeklong Israeli offensive against Palestinian militants in Gaza.(AP Photo/Dan Balilty)

President Obama condemned a bus bombing that wounded 22 in Tel Aviv Wednesday, wasting no time in calling it a “terrorist attack” and pledging to provide Israel with “whatever assistance is needed” to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The bus bombing occurred just hours after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton arrived in Cairo and threatened to derail her diplomatic efforts to forge a truce between Israel and Gaza rulers of Hamas.

Mrs. Clinton plans to meet with Egypt’s President Mohammed Morsi Wednesday to try to negotiate an end to the the back-and-forth assaults, which have killed 130 Palestinians and five Israelis. She met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before heading to Cairo.

Mr. Obama, who arrived back in Washington early Wednesday from a three-day trip to Asia, stood squarely behind Israel in denouncing the bus bombing.

“The United States condemns today’s terrorist attack on a bus in Tel Aviv,” he said in a statement. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those injured, and with the people of Israel. These attacks against innocent Israeli civilians are outrageous.”

“The United States will stand with our Israeli allies and provide whatever assistance is necessary to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators of this attack,” he continued. “The United States reaffirms our unshakeable commitment to Israel’s security and our deep friendship and solidarity with the Israeli people.”

Mrs. Clinton’s push for a cease-fire come as thousands of Israeli troops amassed on the Gaza border, ready to invade the restive Palestinian enclave.

In Tel Aviv, the bus exploded near the Defense Ministry and military headquarters.

Before Mr. Obama’s statement on went out, Mrs. Clinton had called the bus bombing a “terrorist attack” and said the U.S. “strongly condemns” it.

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