Biden Says He Is Working Toward Sustained Calm in Israel-Palestinian Conflict

Meanwhile U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said 'the violence must end immediately' — the strongest tone yet adopted by the Americans concerning the ongoing violence

Reuters
Ben Samuels
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U.S. President Joe Biden, Washington, May 2021.
U.S. President Joe Biden, Washington, May 2021.Credit: AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Reuters
Ben Samuels

U.S. President Joe Biden said his administration is working with Palestinians and Israelis to work towards a sustained calm, adding that both deserve to live in safety and security.

"We also believe Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live in safety and security and enjoy equal measure of freedom, prosperity and democracy," he said in a pretaped video aired at an event marking the Muslim Eid holiday on Sunday.

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"My administration is going to continue to engage Palestinians and Israelis and other regional partners to work toward sustained calm." 

This comes as the fighting between Israel and Hamas continued on Sunday evening, with rockets fired at southern Israeli cities and Israeli attacks on Hamas positions. 

Earlier on Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the fighting in Gaza "continues in full force," adding "it will take time." 

The prime minister said that Israel has the backing of the international community, and thanked Biden once more for supporting Israel. 

Meanwhile U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said "the violence must end immediately" — the strongest tone yet adopted by the Americans concerning the ongoing violence.

His statement came after he held a number of calls with Arab counterparts, including Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on the ongoing violence in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza.

Blinken told the Saudi foreign minister that he The Secretary lamented the loss of Palestinian and Israeli lives and urged engagement to prevent a deepening of the crisis. He also expressed his belief that Palestinians and Israelis deserve equal measures of freedom, dignity, security, and prosperity.

The secretary discussed with his Qatari counterpart efforts to restore calm "in light of the tragic loss of civilian life," highlighting the importance of the strong partnership with Qatar and thanking him for Qatar's role in advancing peace and security in the Middle East.

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