Harper condemns attacks on Israeli cities, urges both sides to spare innocents

QUEBEC CITY, Que. – Prime Minister Stephen Harper condemned the continuing rocket attacks against Israel as tensions continued to rise in the Middle East.

His remarks, in Quebec, came as the Israeli military prepared for a possible ground incursion into the Palestinian-controlled Gaza region, which observers say could lead to a dramatic escalation of the conflict.

Rockets fired by Hamas militants were aimed at Tel Aviv and Jerusalem — two targets previously thought out of range of missiles from Gaza.

There is speculation in the defence community that militants are using Iranian-made Fajr-5 missiles.

Harper says Canada supports Israel’s right to defend itself, but urged all sides to take every precaution to spare innocent lives.

Three Israelis were killed in the bombardment Thursday, while published reports in the Middle East claim the death toll among Palestinians has hit 22.