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Israeli Officials: ‘We Don’t Need America To Take Care Of Threats To Israel’

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — While Israel conducted a joint missile test with the United States over the Mediterranean Sea Tuesday, Israeli leaders expressed concerns about comments recently made by President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.

Both Obama and Kerry signaled last week that the chemical attack perpetrated by Bashar Assad’s regime could pave the way for a possible Syrian attack against Israel.

According to The Times of Israel, senior Israeli officials were not pleased with their comments.

“[Israel] is not a victim. We don’t need America to take care of threats to Israel,” officials reportedly said, according to the paper.

The unnamed officials also said they were “discomfited that both Obama and Kerry mentioned Israel as a potential victim of Assad’s chemical weapons.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has previously said that he doesn’t expect any type of retaliation from Syria if the U.S. does launch a military strike.

Obama met with Congressional leaders at the White House Tuesday looking for support for a strike against Assad’s regime.

“So long as we are accomplishing what needs to be accomplished, which is to send a clear message to Assad, to degrade his capabilities to use chemical weapons, not just now but also in the future, as long as the authorization allows us to do that, I’m confident that we’re going to be able to come up with something that hits that mark,” Obama said, calling on lawmakers to hold a prompt vote.

Following the meeting, House Speaker John Boehner voiced support for a strike while Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she didn’t think Congressional authorization is necessary.

“I’m going to support the president’s call for action,” Boehner stated.

Pelosi also mentioned how she and her 5-year-old grandson had a conversation with what is happening in Syria. Pelosi said her grandson does not want the U.S. to go to war in Syria.

Kerry said last week that more than 1,400 people were killed, including hundreds of children, in an Aug. 21 chemical attack outside Damascus.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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