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President Barack Obama urged Israel and the Palestinians to seek a peaceful, two-state solution in an article in an Israeli newspaper Tuesday, even as the Israeli army launched airstrikes in the Gaza Strip.

In the article, which was written for the newspaper Haaretz, Obama wrote that "all parties must protect the innocent and act with reasonableness and restraint, not vengeance and retribution," adding: "While walls and missile defense systems can help protect against some threats, true safety will only come with a comprehensive negotiated settlement."

"Refusing to compromise or cooperate with one another won't do anything to increase security for either the Israeli or the Palestinian people," Obama wrote in the article, which was published on the newspaper's website shortly before the Israeli army confirmed that it was starting the airstrikes, called Operation Protective Edge, "to stop the terror Israel's citizens face on a daily basis."



— M. Alex Johnson and Sarah Burke