“The two leaders had a detailed discussion on the state of events in Gaza, Israel’s progress in degrading the capabilities of Hamas and other terrorist elements, and ongoing diplomatic efforts by regional governments and the United States,” the White House said in a readout of the call.
It added, “The President conveyed to the Prime Minister that he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire.”
During a third call with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu this week as violence reaches a tenth day, President Biden "conveyed to the Prime Minister that he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire."
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) May 19, 2021
Earlier this week, Biden expressed his support for a ceasefire, as IJR reported.
In a statement following his call with Netanyahu on Monday, the White House said, “The President reiterated his firm support for Israel’s right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks. The President welcomed efforts to address intercommunal violence and to bring calm to Jerusalem.”
It continued, “He encouraged Israel to make every effort to ensure the protection of innocent civilians. The two leaders discussed progress in Israel’s military operations against Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza. The President expressed his support for a ceasefire and discussed U.S. engagement with Egypt and other partners towards that end.”
The Israeli Air Force said the militant group Hamas has launched more than 3,300 rockets toward Israeli cities and towns. At least 10 people have died, as The New York Times reports.
According to a Palestinian human rights group, Israeli forces and settlers have killed 20 Palestinians during violence in the West Bank.
Israeli strikes in Gaza have taken at least 212 lives, including at least 61 children.
A senior Hamas official told ABC News the group is willing to enter into a ceasefire agreement with Israel on two conditions.
“One, Israeli forces must stop incursions into the Al-Asqa compound and respect the site. Two, Israel must stop the forced evacuation of the Palestinian residents in the Sheikh Jarah neighborhood. This condition is in accordance with international law, not only a condition expected by the Hamas authority,” head of Hamas’ international relations council, Dr. Basem Naim, said.
An Israeli official with direct knowledge of the issue said Israel is not interested, “We say to stop prematurely is to give Hamas the victory it wants. Hamas has to come out of this defeated.”
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