Biden tells Netanyahu US engaged with Egypt, partners to reach Israel-Palestine ceasefire

Amr Kandil , Tuesday 18 May 2021

Biden, however, did not call for an immediate halt of Israeli aggression against Gaza in the statement


US President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a phone call on Monday that the US is engaged with Egypt and other partners in support of an Israel-Gaza ceasefire, the White House said in a statement.

According to the statement, Biden did not ask Natanyahu during the call for an immediate halt of Israeli aggression against Gaza.

Israeli airstrikes on the Gaza Strip have killed more than 200 Palestinians, including many children and women, in the last eight days.

Israel says its airstrikes against the Gaza Strip are a response to rockets fired by Palestinian groups from the strip against Israeli cities.

Hamas and other Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip have fired barrages of rockets against Israeli cities in retaliation for Israeli assaults against Palestinians in East Jerusalem and attacks on Al-Aqsa Mosque.

“The president reiterated his firm support for Israel’s right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks,” the statement said.

Biden also welcomed efforts to address intercommunal violence and to bring calm to Jerusalem, the statement added.

The US president encouraged Israel to make every effort to ensure the protection of innocent civilians.

The Palestinian health ministry in Gaza said on Monday that the number of killed Palestinians due to Israeli aggression has risen to 212, including 61 children, 36 women, and 16 elderly.

The number of injured Palestinians also rose to 1,400, according to the ministry, including 400 children and 270 women.

Since the confrontation between Israel and Palestinians broke out in the last two weeks, Egypt has taken several political and diplomatic moves seeking de-escalation.

Last week, an Egyptian delegation was sent to Tel Aviv to mediate an immediate ceasefire, however, the mediation efforts failed due to Israeli intransigence.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi reiterated on Sunday the need to halt all acts of “violence and killing” in the Gaza Strip amid escalating Israeli-Palestinian fighting, saying “calm must return very urgently”.

El-Sisi, who is currently in a visit to Paris, told France 24 that “we are exerting efforts and hope always exists that all [parties involved will] move to end this conflict.”

Egypt is engaged in extensive talks with the Palestinian and Israeli sides to reach a ceasefire in the Palestinian territories, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ahmed Hafez told Al-Jazeera Arabic news channel on Saturday

Egypt on Monday also announced it has allocated 11 hospitals nationwide to receive Palestinians injured due to the Israeli bombing of Gaza and sent 65 tons of medical aid to Gaza.

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