U.S. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken has called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday to reaffirm America's support for Israel's right to defend itself from Hamas rocket attacks from Gaza.
The State Department said he also repeated U.S. calls for a de-escalation of violence and the Biden administration's belief that both Israelis and Palestinians have the right to live in safety and security.
Blinken announced earlier he was sending a senior diplomat to the region to make similar appeals in person to Israeli and Palestinian officials. He also said that Israel had an ``extra burden'' to avoid civilian casualties as it responds to the attacks.
According to the State Department, Blinken also told Netanyahu that as he and President Joe Biden have said in the past, the administration believes Israelis and Palestinians should ``enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity, and democracy.''