Obama Israel Press Conference (VIDEO)
***UPDATE*** 12:04pm Scroll Down For Video
***UPDATE*** 11:15am From AP:
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama said Wednesday it is in Israel's interest to achieve a lasting peace with the Palestinians, but he emphasized Israeli's right to defend itself.
He also said that Jerusalem will be the capital of Israel, but that the issue should be settled through negotiation.
"That's an issue that has to be dealt with the parties involved, the Palestinians and the Israelis, and it is not the job of the United States to dictate the form in which that will take, but rather to support the efforts that are being made right now to resolve these very difficult issues that have a long history," Obama said.
Obama spoke at a press conference in Sderot, near the Gaza border. The city has been a frequent target of rocket attacks from Palestinian militants, and the news conference was held next to a collection of the spent rockets.
"I bring to Sderot an unshakable commitment to Israel's security," Obama said. "The state of Israel faces determined enemies who seek its destruction. But it also has a friend and ally in the United States that will always stand by the people of Israel."
He also said that a nuclear-armed Iran would be a threat to both Israel and the United States.
Obama discusses his position on Jerusalem being the capitol of Israel has never changed, and that he believes the city should not simply be sliced in half, but that ultimately these are "final status" issues.
Obama responds to a question about what fresh strategies could be brought to the Middle East peace process and concerns Israelis might have about being pressured into making too many concessions in any peace deal.
Obama says that he will take no options off the table in dealing with a potential Iranian threat, and that nuclear Iran would be a "game-changing situation" not just in the Middle East but around the world.
Obama discusses whether or not Israel should negotiate with Hamas in Gaza, saying that it is very hard to negotiate a group that is not representative of a nation-state and does not recognize Israel's right to exist.
***UPDATE*** 10:58am Obama has finished his press conference in Israel, where he stated his support for Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, discussed whether or not Israel should negotiate with Hamas in Gaza and said that a nuclear-armed Iran would be a "game-changing situation" not just in the Middle East but around the world.
***EARLIER*** Barack Obama is giving a press conference in Israel today with Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. Use the CNN video player below to watch it live. (Click on the player to bring up a larger player, and then select the channel featuring Obama's press conference to watch it live.)