US President dials Benjamin Netanyahu, supports Israel’s ‘right to defend’

Washington : US President Joe Biden on Monday reiterated his firm support for Israel’s ‘right to defend itself’ against indiscriminate rocket attacks and also encouraged Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to make every effort to ensure the protection of innocent civilians, the White House said.

‘The President spoke today (Monday) with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. 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’, the White House said in a readout of the telephonic call.

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, it added.

The President expressed his support for a ceasefire and discussed US engagement with Egypt and other partners towards that end. The two leaders agreed that they and their teams would remain in close touch, it concluded.

The situation on the border between Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip has been tense for the past week as heavy rockets have been fired from both the sides, resulting in the death of nearly 200 Palestinians, including 58 children. Israel has reported 10 deaths and 50 injured. An Indian origin caretaker had also died in one such attack.

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