US President Joe Biden and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
US President Joe Biden and Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Biden discusses Israel-Palestine conflict with Netanyahu; hopes hostilities to end soon

ANI | Updated: May 13, 2021 05:36 IST


Washington [US], May 13 (ANI): US President Joe Biden on Wednesday (local time) spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Israel-Palestine conflict and said he hopes that the hostilities will come to a conclusion.
"My expectation and hope is that this will be closing down sooner than later. But Israel has a right to defend itself when you have thousands of rockets flying into your territory. But I had a conversation for a while with the -- with the Prime Minister of Israel. And I think that -- my hope is that we will see this coming to a conclusion sooner than later," Biden told reporters at the White House.
The US President spoke on the issue for the first time since the violence erupted at the start of the week.
According to a White House readout, Biden in a phone call to Netanyahu condemned the rocket attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups, including against Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. He conveyed his unwavering support for Israel's security and for Israel's legitimate right to defend itself and its people, while protecting civilians.
He also conveyed the US encouragement of a pathway toward restoring a sustainable calm and shared his conviction that Jerusalem, a city of such importance to people of faith from around the world, must be a place of peace.
Biden also updated Netanyahu on the United States' diplomatic engagement with regional countries, including Egypt, Jordan, and Qatar, as well as with Palestinian officials.
The two leaders agreed to maintain the close consultation between their teams, which has included consistent engagement by their respective foreign ministers, defence ministers, chiefs of defence, and national security advisors, and to stay in touch personally in the days ahead, according to White House.
Earlier on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke to Netanyahu and expressed his concerns over the ongoing violence.
According to US State Department spokesperson Ned Price, Blinken and Netanyahu discussed the ongoing violence in Jerusalem and the Secretary reiterated his call on all parties to de-escalate tensions and bring a halt to the violence.
The ongoing violence between Israel and Palestine marks a dramatic escalation of tensions linked to the potential eviction of Palestinian families from East Jerusalem by Israeli settlers and access to one of the most sacred sites in the city, which is a key hub for Islam, Judaism and Christianity.
With ramping up of rocket attacks and airstrikes from both sides, concerns have emerged that the conflict is likely to evolve into a full-blown war.
Meanwhile, the death toll in Gaza rose to 65 Palestinians, including 16 children and five women, according to Gaza's Health Ministry. At least 365 people have been wounded, including 86 children and 39 women.
On the other hand, a five-year-old boy was killed and at least 20 Israelis were hurt as Gaza launched a fresh spade of rocket attacks that set off warning sirens in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area and cities in the south on Wednesday night, reported The Times of Israel. The death toll in Israel has reached 7. (ANI)

Loading...
iocl
iocl