KAYODE ADELOWOKAN – NEW YORK
The United States on Saturday strongly condemned the ongoing barrage of rocket attacks by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad from Gaza upon innocent civilians and their communities across Israel.
Morgan Ortagus, Spokesperson for the Department of States in Washington, DC, called on those responsible for the violence to cease this aggression immediately.
Ortagus in a statement said, “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.”
As noted in the State Department Travel Advisory, U.S. citizens have been advised to exercise caution and remain alert to emergency situations.
According to reports from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), not more than 250 rockets have been fired by Gaza militants towards Israel, which has responded with airstrikes on more than one hundred targets across the coastal enclave.
Meanwhile, the United Nations (UN) says it is working with Egypt to try to restore a ceasefire and says both sides are putting at risk efforts to relieve the suffering of people in Gaza.
The escalation began Saturday morning with about 50 rockets fired towards Israel within the course of an hour and continued late into the evening.
The IDF said that its Iron Dome aerial defense system had intercepted dozens of the incoming rockets.
NEWSVERGE gathered that the four Palestinians have been killed in the airstrikes, including a 14-month-old child and the child’s pregnant mother.
Gaza health officials also confirmed that two men were killed in separate strikes, and 18 other Palestinians have been injured.
In the same vein, Turkey condemned a strike on a building housing the office of its state-run Anadolu news agency, a building which Israel says is also used by Hamas’s military intelligence.
A spokesman for Turkey’s President said, “We urge all governments that claim to defend press freedom, including @USEmbassyTurkey to join us in condemning the Israeli government.”
Two Israelis have been wounded in the rocket attacks according to Israel’s emergency response service, Magen David Adom.