US, UK 'deeply concerned' by escalation in Gaza

UK Minister for Mideast Burt calls on both sides to exercise restraint, re-establish calm, avoid civilian casualties.

March 12, 2012 14:41
UK Minister for Mideast, N. Africa Alistair Burt

UK Minister for Mideast, N. Africa Alistair Burt 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS)

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.

The United States Embassy in Tel Aviv on Monday expressed deep concern over the renewal of violence in southern Israel. the message, posted on the embassy's website, reiterated a message from Ambassador Dan Shapiro over the weekend, in which he condemned rocket fire from Gaza.

The United States, Shapiro wrote Saturday, "condemn[s] in the strongest terms the rocket fire from Gaza by terrorists into Israel, which has dramatically and dangerously escalated in the past day, and call[s] on those responsible to take immediate action to stop these cowardly acts."

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