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Blinken says rocket attacks on Israel must stop ‘immediately’

Streaks of light are seen as Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system intercepts rockets launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel, as seen from Ashkelon, Israel May 10, 2021(photo credit: REUTERS/AMIR COHEN)

By Omri Nahmias, REUTERS |  MAY 11, 2021

“While we urge de-escalation on all sides, we also recognize Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself, to defend its people and its territory.”

WASHINGTON – The United States condemns in the strongest terms the barrage of rocket attacks fired into Israel in recent hours, said Ned Price, the State Department Spokesperson. “This is an unacceptable escalation,” he said.

“While we urge de-escalation on all sides, we also recognize Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself, to defend its people and its territory,” Price added.

He went on to say that “it is critical for all sides to ensure calm and de-escalate tensions and avoid violent confrontations, such as the responsible decision to reroute today’s [Jerusalem Day] parade.”

“More broadly, we’re deeply concerned about the situation in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza strip, including violent confrontations in Jerusalem, particularly in the Haram al Sharif Temple Mount, that has resulted in at least 180 additional injuries, as well as the rocket fired from Gaza, hitting houses in Jerusalem and the threat of further rocket attacks,” Price continued.

“The United States will remain fully engaged to promote calm in Jerusalem and we welcome the steps the Israeli government has taken in recent days aimed at avoiding provocations, including the decision to avoid confrontations during the Jerusalem Day commemoration and the delay in the decision regarding the Sheikh Jarrah evictions.”  

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