The United States on Wednesday denounced as "reprehensible" a volley of rocket attacks launched by Islamic Jihad terrorists in Gaza into southern Israel and called for such "terrorist attacks" to stop immediately.
"The United States condemns in the strongest terms today's rocket attacks into Israel by terrorists from the Gaza Strip," State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement. "It is reprehensible that dozens of rockets have been fired today alone. There is no justification for such attacks."
"We call for these terrorist attacks to cease immediately. Israel, like any nation, has a right to defend itself," Psaki added.
Islamic Jihad terrorists in Gaza fired over 60 rockets at towns and villages in southern Israel on Wednesday, forcing thousands of Israelis into bomb shelters and prompting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to warn of a tough response, and triggering calls from Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman for Israel to retake the Gaza Strip.
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon warned that Israel would make those responsible "regret" their actions.
It was the heaviest barrage of cross-border rocket fire since a major eight-day November 2012 confrontation between Israel and terrorists from Gaza's ruling Islamist movement Hamas.
Earlier, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron issued a firm condemnation of the "barbaric" rocket attacks, during an official state visit to Israel.
"Let me absolutely clear about these attacks from Gaza, we condemn them completely... these attacks are completely indiscriminate, aimed at civilian populations and that is a demonstration of how barbaric they are," he said.