Powers 'deeply concerned' by escalation in Gaza

Clinton condemns rocket fire on Israel "in the strongest terms"; UN's Ban, UK Minister Burt express concern over violence.

March 12, 2012 17:09
1 minute read.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst)

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned terrorist rockets fired into Israel on Monday, calling on "all sides" to restore calm.

"Let me also condemn in the strongest terms the rocket fire from Gaza into Southern Israel, which continued over the weekend," Clinton said in a speech at the United Nations about the Arab Spring.

"We call on those responsible to take immediate action to stop these attacks," she said, requesting that all sides "make every effort to restore calm."

The United States Embassy in Tel Aviv expressed a similar sentiment Monday, as US Ambassador Dan Shapiro called on terrorists to "stop these cowardly acts" against Israeli civilians.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Monday he was extremely worried by a recent flare-up in violence between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

"I am gravely concerned at the latest escalation between Gaza and Israel and once again civilians are paying a terrible price," Ban told the UN Security Council. He said rocket attacks on Israeli civilians were "unacceptable" and urged Israel to "exercise maximum restraint."

The British Foreign Office on Monday expressed concern for the escalating violence in southern Israel and Gaza Strip, urging restraint by both sides.

UK Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt said he was "deeply concerned by the recent escalation of violence" and condemned attacks against civilians.

"I urge all sides to exercise restraint, re-establish calm and avoid any further civilian casualties," Burt added.

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