The United States State Department on Wednesday "strongly condemned" the barrage of rocket fire from Gaza into southern Israel, adding that it regrets "the death and injury of innocent Israeli and Palestinian civilians caused by the ensuing violence." 

In a statement by deputy spokesperson Mark Toner, the State Department defended Israel's right to defend itself, and said "there is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel."

Hamas's rockets, it said, were counterproductive to Palestinian interests. "Attacking Israel on a near daily basis does nothing to help Palestinians in Gaza or to move the Palestinian people any closer to achieving self determination."

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