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US' Ilhan Omar defends tweets criticising Israel's Gaza offensive

US congresswoman-elect Ilhan Omar of Minnesota delivers a speech at the event that was held by Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) in Washington DC, United States on January 10, 2019 [Safvan Allahverdi / Anadolu Agency ]
US congresswoman-elect Ilhan Omar of Minnesota delivers a speech in Washington, US on 10 January 2019 [Safvan Allahverdi/Anadolu Agency ]

Newly-sworn-in congresswoman Ilhan Omar has defended tweets she wrote in 2012 criticising Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip.

During the offensive – during which Israel killed 174 Palestinians in one week – Omar tweeted: "Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel."

CNN's Christiane Amanpour asked Omar whether US Jews should be worried about her tweet, to which Omar replied: "I do not know how my comments would be offensive to Jewish Americans […] My comments precisely are addressing what was happening during the Gaza war, and I am clearly speaking about the way the Israeli regime was conducting itself in that war."

Omar added: "I think it is really important for us to make sure that we are not associating the people with the country and its government."

Read: Ilhan Omar vows to make US live up to religious freedom

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