January 11, 2009 / 5:13 PM / 10 years ago

Joe the Plumber plugs Israel over Gaza offensive

SDEROT, Israel (Reuters) - Joe the Plumber has plunged into the Gaza war.

Covering the conflict for PJTV.com, a U.S. conservative website, Joe Wurzelbacher was in the southern Israeli town of Sderot on Sunday, a target of rockets from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, and defended Israel’s 16-day-old offensive.

“I’ve seen some very bad press about Israel,” said Wurzelbacher, a colorful figure in the U.S. presidential campaign in which defeated Republican John McCain cited the Ohio plumber as an example of someone who would be hurt by Democrat Barack Obama’s tax plan.

“Israel is being attacked and they’re defending themselves,” Wurzelbacher told reporters. His remarks were interrupted by an alert for an incoming rocket which sent him dashing to a concrete shelter. No one was hurt.

Gaza medical officials said 874 Palestinians have been killed and more than 3,000 wounded since Israel’s offensive began on December 27. Israel says 10 soldiers have been killed and rocket fire has killed three civilians.

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