Ban Ki-moon
Ban Ki-moonReuters

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday condemned the rocket attacks by Gaza-based terrorists on southern Israel, but also urged Israel to show “restraint” in its response to the attacks.

"The Secretary-General strongly condemns the multiple rocket attacks today on Israel from Gaza, for which Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility," said a statement from Ban's office.

"While reports of damage and injuries are still being ascertained, (Ban) deplores the severe escalation of violence. He urges all actors to exercise maximum restraint to prevent further incidents that could bring greater escalation and destabilization in the region," the statement added.

Earlier Wednesday, terrorists from the Islamic Jihad fired a barrage of 60 rockets from Gaza towards southern Israel. The group said the attack came in response to Israel’s killing of three Islamic Jihad terrorists in an airstrike on Tuesday.

Israel retaliated and struck 29 terror targets belonging to Islamic Jihad and Hamas in Gaza.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday night instructed the defense establishment to do whatever necessary to restore the quiet to Israel’s south.

The rocket fire from Gaza was also condemned by visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron, who said during a meeting with President Shimon Peres that such attacks were “barbaric”.

The United States denounced the rocket onslaught as "reprehensible" 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," said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki. "It is reprehensible that dozens of rockets have been fired today alone. There is no justification for such attacks."