"Earnest said the US is concerned about the safety of civilians both in Israel and Gaza and urged Israel to keep the diplomatic channel open for a ceasefire."
Washington, July 9 - The US strongly condemns the continuing rocket fire into Israel and the deliberate targeting of civilians by terrorist organisations in the Gaza Strip, the White House said Tuesday.
No country can accept rocket fire aimed at civilians, and we support Israel's right to defend itself against these vicious attacks, Xinhua quoted White House spokesperson Josh Earnest as saying in a regular briefing.
Militants in Gaza fired more than 85 rockets toward Israel Monday evening, with Hamas openly claiming responsibility for some of the launches for the first time since the current round of fighting began.
Israel launched a military operation early Tuesday morning, aiming at quelling the rocket fire from Gaza. The Israeli military said its air force has struck more than 150 targets in Gaza, including homes of several Hamas leaders.
Earnest said the US is concerned about the safety of civilians both in Israel and Gaza and urged Israel to keep the diplomatic channel open for a ceasefire.
It is not in the interest of either side for this violence to continue and even to escalate, so we are hopeful that even as Israel exercises their right to self-defence, that they'll leave open a channel for diplomacy to prevail and for a cease-fire or at least a de-escalation in the violence to commence.