US President Joe Biden expressed his support for a ceasefire to stop the escalation of war between Israel and the Palestinians during a call on Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the White House said in a statement.
“The president expressed his support for a ceasefire and spoke about the commitment of the United States, Egypt and other allies to that end,” the White House said.
It is the first time Biden has publicly positioned himself in favor ceasefire after being pressured by fellow Democratic Party members and other countries to play a more active role in the crisis in the Middle East.
However, the ruler limited himself to supporting a ceasefire and he didn’t ask Netanyahu, as requested by members of his party, including 29 senators who issued a statement this Sunday to urge an “immediate” cessation of hostilities.
Until now, the US Government has avoided publicly calling for a ceasefire, although it has offered its mediation in case the parties want to negotiate it.
The White House did not elaborate on Netanyahu’s response to Biden’s position and limited itself to saying that the two leaders agreed. keep in contact.
“Strong support” for Israel
In any case, in the call, Biden reiterated the position that Washington has held since the beginning of the crisis eight days ago.
Specifically, he again expressed his “firm support” for the Israel’s right to “defend itself” and condemned the “indiscriminate” rocket attacks of the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, which has ruled de facto in Gaza since 2007.
In addition, he welcomed “efforts” to address tensions in Israeli cities where Palestinians and Jews coexist, as well as to bring “calm” to Jerusalem, where Palestinian youths clashed for weeks with Israeli forces in the Old City in what was one of the triggers of the current military escalation.
Biden also “encouraged” Israel to do everything possible to protect “innocent civilians”.
New US blockade of the UN
Despite the tone of concern in the White House statement, the US blocked this monday for the third time a proposal for a declaration by the UN Security Council to call for a cessation of violence.
Washington, Israel’s biggest ally, believes that the UN statement it would not be useful to lower the tension, as there are other diplomatic initiatives underway to stop the fighting.
Despite these diplomatic attempts, Netanyahu urged this Sunday to continue retaliatory attacks against the Islamist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which launched more than 3,150 rockets since last monday.
Since the start of the war escalation eight days ago, 10 Israelis and more than 200 Palestinians have died, including 42 civilians who died Sunday in the deadliest Israeli attack yet.