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Obama "Concerned" By Gaza Casualties

President-elect Obama has largely stayed mum on the violence in Gaza, noting that there is only one president at a time. Before a meeting with his economic team today, however, Mr. Obama expressed concern for the continued civilian casualties in the war torn region.

(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
"The loss of civilian life in Gaza and in Israel is a source of deep concern to me, and after January 20th I'm going to have plenty to say about the issue," he told reporters.

"I am not backing away at all from what I said during the campaign, that starting at the beginning of our administration, we are going to engage effectively and consistently in trying to resolve the conflicts that exist in the middle east," Mr. Obama asserted, noting the importance of U.S. national security in the issue. "I think its not only right for the people in that region, but most importantly its right for the national security of the American people and the stability that is so important to this country."

"On January 20th," he promised, "you will be hearing directly from me, and I can promise you until then my job is to monitor the situation and put together the best possible national security team so that we can begin running once we are responsible for national security."

At the open, the President-elect reiterated his recent mantra: "As I said before when it comes to foreign policy, I think the need to adhere to one president at a time is particularly, in domestic policy, Democrats and Republicans we can have arguments back and forth about what tax policies are going to, uh when it comes to international affairs, other countries are looking to see who speaks for America, right now President George Bush as President of the United States speaks on behalf of the U.S. government and the American people when it comes to international affairs."