President Carter was in Gaza recently and said that the people there are treated like animals. Does the President agree with that?MR. GIBBS: I have not seen President Carter’s statement on that. I think the President believes clearly that comprehensive peace can bring security, stability, and opportunity to all people in the Middle East. I think the President has spoken about ensuring that hope and opportunity for Palestinians if both sides will have the courage to come together and seek that long-term peace.
Q I have a follow-up. The President always speaks about the right of the Israelis to exist, but he doesn’t speak about Palestinians, who 7 percent of their land is under occupation. Do they have a right to exist?
MR. GIBBS: Absolutely, Helen. I think if you look back at the –
Q Under occupation? How many years –
MR. GIBBS: Well, look, let me not parse the President’s words. I think if you look through the speech in Cairo, I think the President is pretty clear in his support for comprehensive peace, as I said, a two-state solution that will bring stability, security, and opportunity to everyone in that troubled region of the world.
Q Well, my only follow-up is that in his public remarks, he only speaks of Israel’s rights.
MR. GIBBS: No, I — we’ll pull that Cairo speech and we can have a conversation about different aspects of it. I think if you take a look at that again you’ll see that the President is –
Q I’m talking about other times that he talked.
MR. GIBBS: Well, does that time not count?
Q How long does he go on that he never speaks of Palestinians?
MR. GIBBS: I think you can go back and look at his comments, and he’s been very clear on this.
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