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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Gazette report
WASHINGTON — US President Joe Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the phone once again on Wednesday amid ongoing violence between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
According to a statement from the White House, the US President conveyed to the Israeli prime minister that “he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire,” ratcheting up pressure on Netanyahu u to end the fighting with Hamas.
Biden’s statement on Wednesday, is one of the strongest he has publicly given to date amid the violence in the region, is a clear departure from his earlier stances in which he appeared to be too supportive of Israel while being indifferent to the plight of Palestinians.
However, the Israeli prime minister sounded defiant, saying he was: “Determined to continue this operation until its objective is achieved: to restore quiet and security to you, citizens of Israel."
Biden’s call to Netanyahu comes as more than 200 Palestinians have died from the fighting, as have at least a dozen Israelis, and thousands of people in the area have been injured.
Earlier in the day, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III spoke with Israeli Minister of Defense Benjamin “Benny” Gantz.
Secretary Austin underscored his continued support for Israel’s right to defend itself, reviewed assessments of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza, and urged de-escalation of the conflict, according to a press statement from Pentagon on Wednesday.
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