Madeleine Albright on CNN
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Madeleine Albright on CNN
Madeleine Albright on CNN.

Israel looks like it's "overdoing" its response to Hamas rocket fire, which is "hurting Israel's moral authority," former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Tuesday.

Although she expressed support for Israel's right to defend itself against rocket fire, Albright said in an interview with CNN that the "question of proportionality" was important.

"I do think that it is very hard to watch the number of Palestinians that have been killed – innocents," Albright said as the current secretary of state, John Kerry, was in the region to attempt to broker a cease-fire.

"It is hard to dispute the fact that, as Prime Minister Netanyahu has said, that in fact there are innocents that have been put in the way in order to act as shields," she said. "But the bottom line is, I think, that this is hurting Israel's moral authority. I do think that it looks as though they are overdoing."

Albright, who served as secretary of state in the Clinton administration between 1997 and 2001, said a cease-fire and, eventually, a two-state solution must be the ultimate goals.

"I do think that the point has to be made that if rockets are being shot at Israel, then Israel does have a right to defend itself," said Albright. "We do care, most of us, about the security of Israel, but it cannot have that security if there is not a two-state solution. And I think Secretary Kerry has done an amazing job at pushing, but ultimately it has to be the political will of the parties to bring this to the table. But now there has to be a cease-fire."

Albright recommended figuring out "who has any influence over Hamas in order to get them to accept a cease-fire." Israel has already accepted an Egyptian-proposed cease-fire and a humanitarian truce, both of which were broken by Hamas rocket fire, a point Albright said should be emphasized more.

On Tuesday, however, Israel said it would not agree to a cease-fire until it destroys cross-border tunnels used by Gaza militants to smuggle weapons and infiltrate Israel.