The president of the United States did not join in the growing demands of Democrats and others for an immediate ceasefire. But the Official White House statement on the call shows greater interest in the clashes ending.
President Joe Biden expressed support for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas during a call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, when eight days of shelling and missile strikes have left at least 200 dead, most of them Palestinians in Gaza.
Biden did not join the growing demands of Democrats and others for an immediate ceasefire. But the Official White House statement on the call shows greater interest from the U.S. presidency that clashes—including Israel’s bombings to weaken Gaza-governing Hamas—come to an end, though it still expresses support for Israel.
The representative also “urged Israel to do its all to ensure the protection of innocent civilians,” the White House said.
While the worst clashes between Israel and the Palestinians since 2014 continued to havoc, Biden’s government had previously limited its public criticism of Hamas, refused to send a high-level envoy to the region, and also did not want to press Israel publicly and directly to reduce its most recent military operation in the Gaza Strip, a territory 10 kilometers wide by 40 miles (6 by 25 miles) with more than 2 million inhabitants. Mediation by Egypt and other countries for a ceasefire has shown no signs of progress.
The United States, Israel’s main ally, also vetoed Monday for the third time what would have been a unanimous statement by the United Nations Security Council expressing “serious concern” about the increasingly intense conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and the loss of civilian lives. Washington’s final rejection ended the Council’s statement, at least for now.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki and national security adviser Jake Sullivan said America is focusing rather on “discreet and intensive diplomacy.”
The U.S. government issued its moderate public response despite calls from its security council partners, some Democrats and others to engage both Biden and other international leaders more diplomatically to end the worst outbreak of violence between Israel and the Palestinians in recent years and to revive mediation that has long since come to peace in the region.
Explosions, fear, and pain: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is ravaging families (photos)
As Hamas and the Israeli army seek to do as much damage as possible, thousands of families have lost their homes and had to flee to safeguard their lives, especially in the Palestinian territories, because of apparent military inequality. The severe escalation of violence has caused destruction, especially in the Gaza Strip, where a significant death toll is women and children.