Biden reaffirms support for Israel, but calls on Netanyahu for ceasefire with Hamas
President Biden spoke on Monday (17) with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the crisis in the country.
He said he was in favor of a ceasefire in the confrontation between Israel and Hamas.
Biden has resisted joining other world leaders and much of his own Democratic party to publicly call for an immediate ceasefire in Israel.
The White House says the president has reiterated his firm support for Israel’s right to defend itself against indiscriminate ratchet attacks.
“The President expressed his support for a ceasefire and discussed the United States’ commitment to Egypt and other partners to that end,” said the White House in a note, which reiterates that Biden reiterated “his strong support for Israel’s right to defend themselves from indiscriminate rocket attacks “.
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Also according to the White House, Biden “encouraged Israel to make every effort to ensure the protection of innocent civilians”.
As Hamas fired rockets at Israel, Israel defended itself by making dozens of air strikes between Sunday night and Monday morning (17/05) in the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli army said more than 50 aircraft conducted a 20-minute attack on Gaza just before dawn on Monday. They hit 35 “terrorist targets” and destroyed more than 15 kilometers of tunnels and the homes of nine Hamas commanders.
Hamas also continued to launch rockets from Gaza into civilian areas in Israel. One of them hit a synagogue in the city of Ashkelon hours before night services for the Jewish holiday in Shavuot, Israeli emergency services said. No injuries were reported.
Gaza medical officials said 198 Palestinians had died since the start of the new wave of hostilities.
Israeli military officials said Palestinian rockets have already killed eight people, including a 5-year-old child.
Israel’s military operation against Hamas will continue “in full force,” said Benjamin Netanyahu.
“We are acting now, for as long as necessary, to restore tranquility … It will take time,” said Netanyahu.