The White House said in a statement Monday evening that US President Joe Biden, in a telephone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reiterated his “firm support for Israel’s right to defend itself against indiscriminate missile strikes.” The statement said Biden welcomed efforts to end the violence and bring peace to Jerusalem, and called on Israel to work for the protection of innocent civilians. The situation in Israel and Gaza is becoming fatal day by day.
US President Biden tells Israeli PM Netanyahu he supports "ceasefire" but stopped short of joining growing international calls for an immediate end to the Israeli military strikes on Palestine's Gaza Cityhttps://t.co/vpno0nZhoe
— TRT World (@trtworld) May 17, 2021
The White House added: “The two leaders discussed progress in Israeli military operations against Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza.” The statement went on to say: “The President of the United States supported the ceasefire and shared his joint efforts with Egypt with the Prime Minister of Israel. “The two leaders agreed that they and their team members would be in close contact.”
On the other hand, Al-Arabiya correspondent in Ramallah reported that Biden stated in a statement: “I told Biden that I was determined to complete the operation, which is to restore security to the people of Israel.”
Security Council meeting behind closed doors
At noon on Tuesday, May 18, the Norwegian diplomatic mission to the United Nations announced that the Security Council would hold a closed-door meeting on the current situation in Gaza and the conflict between the Palestinians and Israel.
— Saima Qazi (@Qazi_Saima19) May 18, 2021
In this tweet “Innocent citizens are killed and injured. “We reiterate once again that the hostile acts must end immediately.” Norway, along with Tunisia, spent a week trying to convene a Security Council meeting to issue a joint statement calling for an end to the violence in Gaza but failed due to US opposition.
In contact with Netanyahu, Joe Biden stressed US support for a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza.
Status quo between Israel and Gaza
More than a week has passed since the start of the Israeli-Iranian military conflict between Gaza, which has killed more than 200 Palestinians and 10 Israelis. In a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US President Joe Biden reiterated US support for a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza.
According to a White House statement, Joe Biden emphasized Israel’s right to self-defence against rocket attacks, as well as ongoing efforts to address the violence between Israel’s Arab and Jewish communities. The president also called on Israel to do its utmost to ensure that civilians’ lives are protected.
Netanyahu and Biden agreed to work closely with each other in the current context while reviewing Israel’s military progress against Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza. He also spoke with Netanyahu about US engagement with Egypt and other allies to achieve a ceasefire.
Meanwhile, Axius News Agency quoted an informed Israeli official as saying that Biden had not set a deadline for a ceasefire with Gaza in his contact with Netanyahu. But he stressed that Washington was no longer able to withstand international pressure and that the war must end. At least 212 people, including 61 children and 36 women, were killed in the blast, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health officials. In Israel, 10 people, including two children, lost their lives.
The Israeli military says about 3,350 rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza during the clashes, and that its air force and artillery killed at least 130 Gaza militants.