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White House Condemns Gaza Rocket Fire

White House spokesman reiterates Washington supports Israel’s right to self-defense.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 7/9/2014, 3:14 AM

White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest
Reuters

The White House on Tuesday strongly condemned the incessant rocket fire from Gaza towards Israel and reiterated that Washington supports Israel’s right to self-defense.

"We strongly condemn the continuing rocket fire inside of Israel and the deliberate targeting of civilians by terrorist organizations in Gaza," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement.

"No country can accept rocket fire aimed at civilians and we support Israel's right to defend itself against these vicious attacks," he added.

Earnest joined several foreign European dignitaries who earlier on Tuesday condemned the wave of rocket fire engulfing Israel, after the IDF launched Operation Protective Edge the previous night.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague condemned the rocket fire on Israeli civilian population centers, but stopped short of calling those firing the lethal projectiles at citizens "terrorists."

"I condemn the firing of rockets into Israel by Gaza-based militants. The UK calls on Hamas and other militant groups to stop these attacks," stated Hague.

Also commenting on the situation Tuesday was EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen, who visited southern Israel where he expressed "unreserved solidarity" with the embattled Israeli civilians living under constant rocket fire.

"Indiscriminate shooting of rockets against innocent civilians can never be a legitimate response," said Faaborg-Andersen.

Earnest’s comments on Tuesday were made a day after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and asked him to “act with restraint” in his response to Hamas's pounding of southern Israel.

With that, State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said that the U.S. supported Israel's right to defend itself.

“We condemn the firing of missiles at Israel and support Israel's right to defend itself,” said Psaki.