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Thursday, 29 July 2021

Biden expresses 'grave concern' over recent violence to Netanyahu: White House

The US leader, in his first call with the Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas since taking office, also "stressed the need for Hamas to cease firing rockets into Israel."

AFP , Saturday 15 May 2021
Jala Tower in Gaza destroyed by an Israeli air strike. AFP
(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on May 15, 2021 shows the Jala Tower (highest building) housing international media outlets in Gaza city, being hit by an Israeli air strike and collapsing on May 15, 2021. AFP

US President Joe Biden, in a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, expressed his "grave concern" Saturday over the flareup of violence in Israel and Gaza, the White House said.

Speaking on the sixth day of a paroxysm of the Israeli aggression against the Palestinians that has left scores dead or wounded, Biden expressed his "strong support" for Israel's right to defend itself against rocket attacks by "Hamas and other terrorist groups."

"He condemned these indiscriminate attacks against towns and cities across Israel," the White House statement said.

But Biden also raised concerns about the safety of journalists after Israeli air strikes on Saturday flattened a building in Gaza housing The Associated Press and other international media outlets.

Biden, who up to now has said little publicly about the flareup, voiced US support for a negotiated two-state solution to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

He made the same point in a separate phone call with president Mahmud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, the White House said, highlighting "strong commitment to a negotiated two-state solution as the best path to reach a just and lasting resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict."

The US leader, in his first call with Abbas since taking office, also "stressed the need for Hamas to cease firing rockets into Israel."

Israeli occupation army pummelled the Gaza Strip with air strikes on Saturday, killing 10 members of an extended family, as Palestinian militants fired back barrages of rockets.

Since May 10, Israeli strikes on Gaza have killed 145 people, including 41 children, and wounded 1,100, according to health officials.

Palestinian armed groups have fired at least 2,300 rockets at Israel, killing 10 people and wounding over 560 Israelis.

Demonstrations across the occupied West Bank have led to clashes with the Israeli occupation army, leaving 11 Palestinians dead on May 14 alone and more than 150 wounded, according to health officials and medics.

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