Israel Policy Forum unreservedly condemns the Hamas and Islamic Jihad rocket fire blanketing southern Israel and indiscriminately targeting Israelis, and we mourn the death of Israelis who have been killed in the barrage. The only purpose of these attacks on civilians and population centers is to sow terror and to capitalize on violence for Hamas’s own political benefit. Israeli actions in Jerusalem that contributed to increased tensions in recent days provide neither an excuse nor a rationale for shooting hundreds of rockets at Israelis.

We also regret and mourn for the lives of Palestinian civilians who have been killed, and we place the blame for those deaths on Hamas’s decision to launch rockets that was designed to prompt an Israeli response. U.S. support for Iron Dome has saved literally hundreds of Israeli and Palestinian lives by ensuring that Hamas’s rockets are far less effective, and we hope that the events of the past week demonstrate not only the security challenges that Israel faces but also the need to move toward a two-state outcome that will ensure Israel’s security and Palestinian self-determination. The U.S. has an important role to play in addressing all of these challenges, and it is imperative that we assume our historic role in helping to end violence, calm tensions, and bring Israelis and Palestinians closer to a resolution of their conflict.