The Times of Israel reports: WASHINGTON — The United States condemned the Hamas terror group on Thursday for launching some 180 rockets and mortar shells at Israeli population centers and defended Israel’s military response in the worst exchange of fire since the 2014 war. The State Department’s undersecretary for public diplomacy and public affairs Heather Nauert told reporters that Israel was justified in responding with force to Hamas projectiles targeting Israeli towns and cities. “It’s a very concerning situation,” she said. “We condemn the launching of missile attacks into Israel and call for an end to the destructive violence,” she said. “We fully support Israel’s right to defend itself and to take actions to prevent provocations of that nature.” Read more here.