Blinken says U.S. has been clear that rocket attacks against Israel must cease

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WASHINGTON, May 13 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated on Thursday that rocket attacks by Palestinian militants against Israel must cease, and also said the United States had been clear that Israel has the right to defend itself.

Blinken made the comments at a joint briefing with Australia's foreign minister.

Israel has unleashed an offensive on militants in Gaza after Hamas fired rockets at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in retaliation for Israeli police clashes with Palestinians near the al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. read more

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Reporting by Simon Lewis and Daphne Psaledakis in Washington; Writing by Michael Martina; Editing by Leslie Adler

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