International condemnation of rocket fire from Gaza that injured seven
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International condemnation of rocket fire from Gaza that injured seven

Trump’s envoy for peace process affirm’s Israel’s right to defend itself, European Union ambassador says attack ‘unacceptable,’ Czech president backs ‘vigorous response’

Raphael Ahren is the diplomatic correspondent at The Times of Israel.

A damaged house after it was hit by a rocket in the village of Mishmeret, north of Tel Aviv on March 25, 2019. (Jack GUEZ/AFP)
A damaged house after it was hit by a rocket in the village of Mishmeret, north of Tel Aviv on March 25, 2019. (Jack GUEZ/AFP)

The international community on Monday condemned rocket fire from Gaza into central Israel, expressing concerns over an escalation following an attack that struck a home in central Israel, injuring seven people including two small children.

“Again an attack on Israel from Gaza. Again a rocket fired at a major metro area in Israel, which hit a home causing its collapse and injuring 6,” tweeted Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump’s envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, apparently using an earlier estimation of the casualty figures.

“We condemn this violence from Gaza and affirm Israel’s right to defend itself,” he added.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to respond “forcefully” to the “criminal attack” and has cut short his trip to the US so he can return to Israel to oversee the response.

A home in the central Israeli town of Mishmeret, which was destroyed in a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on March 25, 2019. (Fired and Rescue Services)

The Israeli military began closing off the public areas around the Gaza Strip, called up some reservist units, and deployed two additional brigades to the Gaza region. The IDF said the rocket that struck the home in the central Israeli town of Mishmeret was a variety produced by Hamas, known as a J80, which has a range of 120 kilometers (75 miles).

“Outraged to hear of another Hamas rocket attack aimed at Israeli civilians,” tweeted US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. “Seven people were wounded, including a 3 year old and a 6 month old. We condemn this act of violence and hope for a speedy recovery for the injured.”

The UK’s ambassador to Israel, David Quarrey, said his country “unequivocally condemns” the rocket attack on the home of a British-Israeli family, adding that “there can be no justification of any kind for this attack, whose consequences could have been devastating.”

The French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs tweeted that “France utterly condemns the rocket fire that deliberately target inhabited areas of Israeli territory from Gaza this morning.”

France’s Ambassador to Israel, Helene Le Gal, tweeted “I express my sincere solidarity with the Israeli population, the victim of this fire.”

People gather around a damaged car next to the home of the Wolf family in the central Israeli village of Mishmeret after it was hit by a rocket launched from Gaza, on March 25, 2019. The sign at left reads, “Wolf family.” (Jack Guez/AFP)

The European Union’s ambassador to Israel, Emanuele Giaufret, said he was following the developments “with grave concern” after a residential building in Mishmeret was destroyed by a rocket from Gaza.

“Wishing early recovery to those wounded. Indiscriminate targeting of civilians unacceptable,” he tweeted.

German Ambassador to Israel Susanne Wasum-Rainer tweeted, “The German government strongly condemns the rocket attack on the Mismeret moshav in the Sharon region, in which a number of people were injured, among them two infants. We wish the injured a complete and speedy recovery.”

United Nations Special Coordinator to the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov tweeted it was “an extremely serious incident.”

“Today’s firing of a rocket from Gaza towards Israel, which hit a house north of Tel Aviv and injured seven people, is absolutely unacceptable,” Mladenov wrote. “This is an extremely serious incident! UN is working intensely with Egypt and all sides but situation remains VERY tense.”

Police inspect a home in the central Israeli town of Mishmeret that was destroyed in a rocket attack from the Gaza Strip on March 25, 2019. (Israel Police)

A spokesperson for Czech President Milos Zeman also took to Twitter to express “solidarity” with Israel.

“Israel has the right to a vigorous response,” Jiri Ovcacek wrote.

The Spanish Embassy in Tel Aviv “strongly condemned” firing of rockets into Israel, urging “ the Palestinian factions of Gaza” to cease these “hostile acts” against Israel’s civilian population.

“Spain recognizes Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself while asking Israel to respond with restraint,” according to the embassy’s official Twitter feed.

Last week, Spain was the only European country to vote in favor of a United Nations Human Rights Council report that accused Israel of crimes against humanity during last year’s riots at the Gaza border.

Spain’s sole “yes” vote was “shameful” and encourages terror, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon tweeted on Monday.

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