Biden expects Israeli-Palestinian clashes to end soon, urging for restoring calm

Biden expects Israeli-Palestinian clashes to end soon, urging for restoring calm

May 13, 2021

Washington (US), May 13: U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday expected the ongoing clashes between Israelis and Palestinians would be "closing down sooner than later," while urging for restoring a sustainable calm.
"My expectation and hope is that this will be closing down sooner than later, but Israel has a right to defend itself when you have thousands of rockets flying into your territory," Biden told reporters at the White House.
Biden had a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, in which he condemned rocket attacks against Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, according to a White House readout of the conversation.
"He conveyed his unwavering support for Israel's security and for Israel's legitimate right to defend itself and its people, while protecting civilians," said the readout.
"He also conveyed the United States' encouragement of a pathway toward restoring a sustainable calm. He shared his conviction that Jerusalem, a city of such importance to people of faith from around the world, must be a place of peace," it added.
In a separate call with Netanyahu on the same day, Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated that all parties need to deescalate tensions and bring a halt to the violence.
Blinken told reporters earlier that Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Israel and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr will travel to the region immediately to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
"He will urge, on my behalf and on behalf of President Biden, a de-escalation of violence. We are very focused on this," Blinken said.
While recognizing Israel's right to self-defense, the top U.S. diplomat stressed that "Israel has an extra burden in trying to do everything it possibly can to avoid civilian casualties."
At least 65 in Gaza and seven in Israel were killed by airstrikes and rockets, according to official reports.
Source: Xinhua