Ashton condemns J'lem bombing, Gaza rocket attacks

EU foreign policy chief says "attacks on civilians unacceptable in any circumstance," warns of escalation in violence between Gaza, Israel.

Catherine Ashton (R) 311 (photo credit: 	 REUTERS/Valentin Flauraud)
Catherine Ashton (R) 311
(photo credit: REUTERS/Valentin Flauraud)
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton condemned Thursday the terror attack that occurred in Jerusalem Wednesday in the "strongest terms."
Speaking about the attack victims, Ashton said "I express my condolences to the family of the deceased, and extend my sincere wishes to the persons injured for their full and speedy recovery."
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In an official statement, Ashton also condemned rocket attacks coming from the Gaza Strip, adding that "attacks on any civilians are completely unacceptable in any circumstance." Ashton urged acting parties to show restrain and "avoid further escalation of violence," and a "lasting truce in Gaza."
Ashton also mentioned with regret the deaths in the Gaza Strip resulting from IDF attacks on terrorists firing rockets against Israel.
The EU foreign policy chief concluded that "the only way forward in resolving the conflict in the Middle East is through peaceful negotiations."
On Wednesday, US President Barack Obama harshly condemned the bomb attack in Jerusalem Wednesday and expressed his condolences for Palestinians killed in Gaza the day before.
"I condemn in the strongest possible terms the bombing in Jerusalem today, as well as the rockets and mortars fired from Gaza in recent days,” Obama declared in a statement. “Together with the American people, I offer my deepest condolences for those injured or killed.”
Obama stressed Israel’s right to defend itself and urged those responsible to desist.
“There is never any possible justification for terrorism,” he said. “The United States calls on the groups responsible to end these attacks at once and we underscore that Israel, like all nations, has a right to selfdefense.”
Obama continued by noting the death of Palestinian civilians Tuesday, saying “we also express our deepest condolences for the deaths of Palestinian civilians in Gaza yesterday.”
He emphasized “the importance of calm” and urged all parties “to do everything in their power to prevent further violence and civilian casualties.”
Also Wednesday, Foreign Secretary William Hague said from London that “This appears to have been a callous and disgusting act of terrorism directed against innocent civilians, which I condemn unreservedly.
I would like to express the UK’s unwavering support for the people of Israel in the face of such horrific acts.”