U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says the United States agrees with Israel that the Gaza Strip is a "hostile entity" now that it is controlled by the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
But Rice also says the United States will not abandon the innocent Palestinians in Gaza. She spoke in Jerusalem Wednesday after talks with Israeli officials.
Earlier today, Israel's Security Cabinet decided to declare the Gaza Strip an "enemy entity," paving the way for cuts in vital supplies to the territory. Israeli officials said the move is in response to continuing cross-border rocket fire by Palestinian militants in Gaza.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the decision, saying it will increase the suffering of one-and-a-half million people in the impoverished strip.
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said interrupting supply of essential services to the civilian population would violate international humanitarian laws.
Rice will hold talks with Mr. Abbas in the West Bank on Thursday.