'Unacceptable to Fire at Civilian Communities': UN, EU Condemn Attacks on Israel From Gaza

'Hamas has failed – all it can offer is terror. Palestinians in Gaza need real leaders,' U.S. envoy Jason Greenblatt tweets

A man uses a chainsaw to clear trees damaged by mortar shells fired from the Gaza Strip that landed near a kindergarten, in a Kibbutz on the Israeli side of the Israeli-Gaza border, May 29, 2018
\ AMIR COHEN/ REUTERS

The international community condemned Tuesday's rocket fire at Israel from Gaza, which also hit an empty kindergarten, warning it harms peace efforts in the region. A UN envoy called the attacks "unacceptable," noting that they were aimed at civilians.

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In a harshly worded statement released in the afternoon, UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov said he was "deeply concerned by the indiscriminate firing of rockets by Palestinian militants from Gaza towards communities in Southern Israel."

"Such attacks are unacceptable and undermine the serious efforts by the international community to improve the situation in Gaza," he added.  In a tweet quoting a portion of the statement, he emphasized the condemnation using capital letters: "It is UNACCEPTABLE to indiscriminately fire at civilian communities!," he wrote.

>> Live updates: Five Israelis wounded in Gaza rocket barrage; military pounds Strip >>

Likewise, EU Ambassador to Israel Emanuele Giaufret tweeted criticism of the attacks from Gaza. "As kids were preparing for school this morning abarrage of rockets from Gaza fell on southern Israel," he said. "One landed outside a kindergarten. I know the resilience of communities in southern Israel but indiscriminate attacks are totally unacceptable and to be condemned. Unreservedly."

Jason Greenblatt, the American special envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, tweeted condemning the attacks to Israel from the Gaza strip.

"Reprehensible – mortars fired from Gaza at a kindergarten and community in Israel!," he wrote, adding "Hamas has failed – all it can offer is terror. Palestinians in Gaza need real leaders to work on Gaza’s real problems with its water, its economy and so much more."

The French embassy in Tel Aviv also released a statement on the Gaza flare-up. "France roundly condemns the firing at a civilian population," the statement read, saying it's "incompatible with a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict" and adding that "France is unconditionally committed to Israel's security."

As Tuesday drew to close the list of countries issuing condamnations of the mortar and rocket fire from Gaza into Israel kept getting longer, including statements from Italy, Ireland, the UK and Austria and Canada. 

Austrian government spokesperson Peter Launsky took to Twitter to warn that the attacks are "certainly not the way to solve any of Gaza's problems," while Ireland'd Foreign Minister Simon Coveney said that while he condemend the attacks he continues to "advocate strongly for people of Gaza who live in impossible conditions."

The Italian embassy in Israel wrote on its Twitter account expressing "Full solidarity to #Israel and Israeli people for the brutal mortar shelling from #Gaza landed just outside a kindergarten while kids were starting daily activities [...]".

Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland also condemend the attacks saying they "severely threaten the long term goal of just and lasting peace".