US Condemns Gaza Rockets As ‘Unacceptable Escalation,’ Supports Israel’s Self-Defense

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price holds a daily press briefing on March 1, 2021. Credit: U.S. State Department (Photo by Freddie Everett/ Public Domain)

WASHINGTON (JNS) — World leaders condemned the ongoing rocket fire from the Gaza Strip into Israel, while also urging calm amid escalating tensions in Jerusalem.

“We unequivocally condemn rocket attacks from Gaza towards southern and central Israel, including Jerusalem. This is unacceptable,” said Jonathan Shrier, chargé d’affaires at the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem.

Additionally, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said the Gaza rocket fire was an “unacceptable escalation,” adding that Washington recognizes Israel’s right to defend itself. Earlier, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that U.S. President Joe Biden was closely monitoring the situation in Israel.

In light of the rocket fire and tensions on the Temple Mount, the U.S. embassy put out an alert that the Old City of Jerusalem is off-limits to its personnel until May 16.

The European Union’s Ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret said he was “extremely concerned” about the violence in eastern Jerusalem, while also saying that the firing of rockets from Gaza to Israel is “totally unacceptable” and needs to end.

“We need immediate de-escalation to step back from the brink and protect civilians,” he said.

Similarly, the British Foreign Secretary condemned the rocket firing and called for “immediate de-escalation on all sides.”

“The U.K. condemns the firing of rockets at Jerusalem and locations within Israel. The ongoing violence in Jerusalem and Gaza must stop,” tweeted Dominic Raab.

At least seven rockets were fired by Palestinian terrorists from Gaza towards Jerusalem on Monday evening, while several rocket barrages were fired at southern Israel. As usual, sirens were triggered right away in Sderot, adjacent to the border, sending residents to bomb shelters.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel those who attack Israel “will pay a heavy price.”

“Israel will respond with great force. We will not tolerate attacks on our territory, our capital, our citizens or our soldiers,” he said, adding that the renewed round of fighting may last for “some time.”

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