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Published: Thursday March 13, 2014 MYT 8:21:30 AM
Updated: Thursday March 13, 2014 MYT 8:22:34 AM

U.N. chief condemns rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday condemned a series of rocket attacks against Israel that originated in the Gaza Strip and provoked swift Israeli retaliation.

Israel bombed 29 targets in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military said, after Palestinian militants in the coastal territory fired 60 rockets into Israel in the heaviest such barrage since 2012.

"The Secretary-General strongly condemns the multiple rocket attacks today on Israel from Gaza, for which Islamic Jihad has claimed responsibility," Ban's press office said in a statement.

"While reports of damage and injuries are still being ascertained, (Ban) deplores the severe escalation of violence," it said. "He urges all actors to exercise maximum restraint to prevent further incidents that could bring greater escalation and destabilization in the region."

The rocket fire, which Israeli police said resulted in no casualties, was claimed by the Islamic Jihad group and came a day after Israel killed three of its members in a Gaza air strike.

(Reporting by Louis Charbonneau; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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