Obama: Countries must protect citizens | International | Jerusalem Post US President-elect Barak Obama spoke out against criticism for his relative silence on the conflict in Gaza on Sunday, and defended his assertion that when it comes to national security, "we cannot have two administrations at the same time simultaneously sending signals in a volatile situation." He added, however, that his team is preparing to get involved once he takes office. "What I am doing right now is putting together the team so that on January 20th, starting on day one, we have the best possible people who are going to be immediately engaged in the Middle East peace process as a whole," he said. In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC news, the president-elect stood by his comments last July made on a trip to Israel that, "If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters sleep at night, I'm going to do everything in my power to stop that. I would expect Israelis to do the same thing." When asked if he would say the same in Israel today, Obama said, "I think that a basic principle of any country is that they've got to protect their citizens." Comparing his approach to the Middle East to that of previous administrations, Obama suggested that he would not be making a clean break from the Bush policy. "I think that if you look not just at the Bush administration, but also what happened under the Clinton administration, you are seeing the general outlines of an approach."