Israel has the right to defend itself and will be able to do that, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in an interview airing Friday, a day after Israeli forces attacked targets in the southern Gaza Strip after rockets fell on Tel Aviv.
"I regret the folks in the Gaza Strip, probably Hamas, but I suspect we shouldn't speculate, fired the rockets and put Israelis at risk," Pompeo told Fox News' "Fox and Friends" co-anchor Brian Kilmeade. "It's something we hope doesn't happen but you should know we will support the Israelis right to defend themselves."
Pompeo's interview was recorded on Thursday, before Israeli defense officials said the Gaza rockets had been fired by mistake. The Israel military has not commented on the officials' claim.
Pompeo also defended the administration's work toward a denuclearization deal with North Korea, saying real progress was made in Hanoi even though a final agreement was not reached.
"Real progress" has also been made with China, said Pompeo, as the nations work toward a trade deal that will benefit the United States and the rest of the world.
He also spoke out about Venezuela, calling President Nicolas Maduro's regime "evil" and promising the United States will continue efforts to get supplies to the nation's residents. However, he referred questions about U.S. troop involvement to the Department of Defense.
The full video of the 20-minute Pompeo interview is located here.