by Elad Benari
State Department spokeswoman condemns Gaza rocket attacks against Israel, says US stands with Israel as it defends itself.
The United States on Tuesday condemned the rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel, saying Washington stood with Israel as it defends itself from these attacks.
“We condemn in the strongest terms the rocket, missile and mortar attacks that are taking place from Gaza into Israel,” US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said at a news briefing.
“We call for the sustained halt of those attacks. We stand with Israel as Israel defends itself against these attacks. It is simply unacceptable to target civilians,” she added.
Gaza terrorists fired nearly 500 rockets and mortars toward southern Israel starting on Sunday night and until Tuesday afternoon. One person was killed and over 50 injured from rocket and mortar strikes, and a number of private homes were struck during the onslaught.
Around 5:00 p.m. Israel time on Tuesday, Arab media reported that an agreement on a ceasefire had been reached between Hamas and Israel. The agreement was achieved through Egyptian mediation.
Hamas confirmed the report that an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire had been reached, but made it clear that the organization would be obligated to it only as long as the "Zionist enemy" fulfilled its commitment to the ceasefire.
On Monday night, as the rockets continued to rain down on the south, a senior State Department official condemned the Hamas terrorist group and reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself.
Also on Monday, US Special envoy Jason Greenblatt issued a scathing condemnation of the Hamas terrorist organization after its terrorists launched hundreds of rockets at Israel.
"Terrorists in Gaza are again attacking Israel with tools of war. These rocket & mortar attacks on Israeli towns must be condemned by all. Israel is forced once again into military action to defend its citizens. We stand with Israel as it defends itself against these attacks," Greenblatt wrote.
"Hamas’ activities continue to prove they don’t really care about the Palestinians of Gaza & their only interest is to use them for political purposes. Even Palestinian lives seem not to matter to Hamas," he added.
"The world has grown tired of Hamas’ violence and the violence of other bad actors in Gaza. This violence prevents any real help for the people of Gaza."
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