US deeply concerned by escalating Israeli-Palestinian violence

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The United States said on Tuesday it was deeply concerned by the escalation between Israel and those launching rockets from Gaza and called on all sides to exercise restraint.

“We call for restraint and for calm. Israel has the right to defend itself and to respond to rocket attacks. The Palestinian people also have the right to safety and security, just as Israelis do,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said at his daily briefing, saying U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi on Tuesday.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas condemned on Tuesday rocket attacks on Israel, saying they must end immediately after Gaza’s Islamist ruler Hamas said it had fired over 130 rockets towards Tel Aviv in response to an Israeli air strike.

“The rocket attack on Israel is absolutely unacceptable and must end immediately. Israel has in this situation the right to self-defence. This escalation of violence can be neither tolerated nor accepted,” Maas tweeted

(Reporting By Simon Lewis, Daphne Psaledakis and Arshad Mohammed)

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