Trump administration ‘stands with Israel’ in face of rocket attacks


WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Trump administration said it “stands with Israel” in the face of a barrage of rocket attacks from the Gaza Strip which has killed one Israeli father of four and seriously injured an 80-year-old woman.

“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 the statement posted Saturday evening by State Department spokeswoman 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.”

Notably, the statement did not call for restraint, a feature of such statements in previous administrations.

At least 300 rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza on Saturday, directly hitting two houses and seriously injuring an 80-year-old woman. Israel’s army responded on Saturday evening by bombing 120 Gaza military targets including a six-story building in a residential area of the northern Gaza Strip, where Hamas terrorist offices were located. The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry said that a pregnant Palestinian woman and her 14-month-old baby were killed in the Israeli air strikes. By Sunday  morning more than 400 rockets had been fired and the Israeli military struck an additional 60 Gaza military targets.

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