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Politics

Jimmy Carter: ‘Israeli Troops Should Withdraw From Gaza’

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Former President Jimmy Carter poses for a photo as he promotes his new book "A Call To Action Women, Religion, Violence, And Power" at Barnes & Noble, 5th Avenue on March 25, 2014 in New York City. (credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

Former President Jimmy Carter poses for a photo as he promotes his new book “A Call To Action Women, Religion, Violence, And Power” at Barnes & Noble, 5th Avenue on March 25, 2014 in New York City. (credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images)

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ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta/AP) — Former President Jimmy Carter says all combat operations must stop, and Israeli troops should withdraw from the Gaza Strip.

In a statement issued Tuesday through the Carter Center in Atlanta, the former president also said that both sides in the conflict must distinguish between combatants and noncombatants.

Carter said Israel must ensure that its use of force is “proportionate in accordance with international humanitarian law.”

“Both sides must distinguish between combatants and noncombatants, and Israel must ensure that its use of force is proportionate in accordance with international humanitarian law. More immediately, all combat operations must stop, and Israeli troops should withdraw from Gaza,” Carter said in the statement.

The statement said Gaza is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis.

“The international community must use the ceasefire agreement as an opportunity to advance the reunification of Palestine if there is to be sustainable peace between Israelis and Palestinians. The agreement must include implementation and international monitoring mechanisms,” Carter added.

Fighting in the past two weeks has killed more than 570 Palestinians and two dozen Israelis.

President Barack Obama said Monday that the international community must focus on bringing about a cease-fire that ends the killing of civilians on both sides of the conflict.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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