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Biden tells Netanyahu he supports ceasefire -White House

Biden tells Netanyahu he supports ceasefire -White House
May 18, 2021

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – US President Joe Biden, in a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his support for a ceasefire in the fighting between Israel and Palestinian militants, the White House said.

The White House statement on the call did not refer to any response by Netanyahu to Biden’s comment on a ceasefire.

“The President expressed his support for a ceasefire and discussed US engagement with Egypt and other partners towards that end,” the White House said.

Israel continued to pummel Gaza with air strikes on Monday and Palestinian militants launched more rockets at Israeli cities.

At least 212 Palestinians have been killed, including 61 children and 36 women, in more than a week of fighting, according to Gaza health officials. Ten people have been killed in Israel, including two children.

Biden “encouraged Israel to make every effort to ensure the protection of innocent civilians,” the White House said.

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

The White House said the two leaders also “discussed progress in Israel’s military operations against Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza.”

The armed wing of Hamas promised to fire more rockets on Israel in return for any more Israeli strikes.