November 13, 2019 2020 Candidates ,

Haaretz: Buttigieg, Biden Blast Gaza Rocket Attacks: ‘Israel Has a Right to Defend Itself’

Mayor Pete Buttigieg and former Vice President Joe Biden both condemned rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza over the last 48 hours – each saying that “Israel has a right to defend itself.”

“I strongly condemn the rocket attacks on the citizens of southern and central Israel,” tweeted Buttigieg on Wednesday. “Israel has a right to defend itself against acts of terror that set back any progress towards peace and will only serve to inflame the humanitarian situation in Gaza.”

“Israel has a right to defend itself against terrorist threats,” wrote Biden on Twitter, “It is intolerable that Israeli civilians live their lives under the constant fear of rocket attacks. That’s why our administration was such a strong supporter of Israel’s life-saving Iron Dome.”

A Monmouth University poll published Tuesday shows the South Bend, Indiana, mayor leading in the Iowa caucuses for the first time with 22 percent of the vote.

Biden lands in second place with 19 percent support, followed closely by Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts with 18 percent and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont with 13 percent.

Israel has become a wedge issue of sorts in the Democratic primary as Biden and Buttigieg, while critical of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his vow to annex the West Bank, have staked out a more centrist position than their rivals Warren and Sanders.

Both Sanders and Warren have raised the idea of limiting U.S. aid in the event Israel moves to annex the West Bank, with Sanders going as far as suggesting some of that aid should go to the Palestinians.