Washington indicated on Wednesday, November 14 that it would stand by Israel as the Jewish state embarked on a wide military operation against Gaza in response to rocket attacks on the south, The Times of Israel reported. In a statement issued Wednesday, the State Department strongly condemned Hamas for shooting rockets at Israel, and placed itself firmly on the side of Israel in the latest round of fighting. “There is no justification for the violence that Hamas and other terrorist organizations are employing against the people of Israel,” the statement read. “We call on those responsible to stop these cowardly acts immediately.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with President Barack Obama late Wednesday to update him on the situation. “The prime minister expressed his deep appreciation for U.S. President Obama’s support of Israel’s right to defend itself,” the Prime Minister’s Office said in a release.