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May 5, 2019 9:30 am

US Asserts Israel’s Right to Self-Defense, Slams Gaza Terror Groups After Hundreds of Rockets Strike Jewish State

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The scene where a 58-year-old man was killed Saturday night by shrapnel when his house in Ashkelon was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip, May 5, 2019. Photo: Noam Rivkin Fenton/Flash90. – Following a barrage of over 450 rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel on Saturday and Sunday, the US State Department condemned the attacks on the Jewish state’s “innocent civilians and their communities” and affirmed Israel’s “right to self-defense against these abhorrent attacks.”

“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 State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus in a statement. “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,” she added.

The bombardment from Gaza over the weekend is the heaviest since the 2014 Gaza War.

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A 58-year-old father-of-four, Moshe Agadi, was killed early Sunday morning when he failed to reach safety inside his Ashkelon apartment building in time, having stepped out between waves of rockets to smoke a cigarette. Two other Israelis were killed on Sunday in subsequent attacks on the city.

An 80-year-old Kiryat Gat woman who was unable to reach safety in time suffered a serious head wound when she was thrown to the ground by a nearby impact.

“Hamas and PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] have engaged in yet another deplorable act of terrorism, indiscriminately firing hundreds of rockets at Israeli civilian communities,” tweeted US Special Envoy Jason Greenblatt.  “The US stands firmly in support of Israel’s right to self-defense and we call on the international community to do the same.”

Israel entered into a tentative ceasefire with Hamas in early April, brokered by Egypt and the United Nations.

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