By JON PRIOR | 8/3/14 12:12 PM EDT
White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett says Israeli strikes near civilian havens in Gaza were indefensible.
"This is why the cease-fire is so important," Jarrett said in an interview aired Sunday on CBS's "Face the Nation." "It's a devastating situation. Israel absolutely has the right to defend itself, and we are Israel's staunchest ally. But you also can't condone the killing of all of these innocent children."
President Barack Obama, she said, was concerned and frustrated by the ongoing violence despite efforts by Secretary of State John Kerry to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.
"I think everyone involved is frustrated," Jarrett said. "But you can't let your frustration get in the way of trying to be a constructive player here, and that's what [Obama's] determined to do."
Asked if Israel had gone too far, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg defended the strikes on the same show, saying that "unfortunately if Hamas hides among the innocent, the innocent are going to get killed" because Israel has no choice but to stop Hamas from firing rockets at its citizens.
"There's no simple answer to these kinds of things," Bloomberg said. "You can't walk in a say, 'The good guys are wearing white hats, and the bad guys are wearing black hats. You can't tell who you're fighting in this kind of war."