(May 5, 2019 / JNS) Following a barrage of more than 600 rockets from the Gaza Strip on Saturday and Sunday, the U.S. State Department issued a statement condemning attacks on Israel’s “innocent civilians and their communities” and affirming Israel’s “right to self-defense against these abhorrent attacks.”
“The United States strongly condemns the ongoing barrage of rocket attacks by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad from Gaza upon innocent civilians and their communities across Israel,” said State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus. “We call on those responsible for the violence to cease this aggression immediately.”
“We stand with Israel and fully support its right to self-defense against these abhorrent attacks,” she added.
The bombardment from Gaza over the weekend is the heaviest since the 2014 Gaza War.
A 58-year-old father of four, Moshe Agadi, was killed early Sunday morning when he failed to reach safety inside his Ashkelon apartment building in time, having stepped out between waves of rockets to smoke a cigarette.
An 80-year-old Kiryat Gat woman who was unable to reach safety in time suffered a serious head wound when she was thrown to the ground by a nearby impact.
“Hamas and PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] have engaged in yet another deplorable act of terrorism, indiscriminately firing hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilian communities,” tweeted U.S. Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt. “The U.S. stands firmly in support of Israel’s right to self-defense, and we call on the international community to do the same,”
Israel entered into a tentative ceasefire with Hamas in early April, brokered by Egypt and the United Nations.