Biden expresses 'grave concern' as violence escalates in Israel-Gazatext_fields
Washington: As Israeli-palastenian violence continues for the sixth day, US President Joe Biden spoke to Israelli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the phone and expressed his "grave concern" over violence in Israel and Gaza.
Biden on a separate call, has asked the Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas that Hamas must "cease firing rockets."
While reaffirming US's "strong support" for Israel's right to defend itself against rocket attacks by "Hamas and other terrorist groups," to Netanyahu, Biden also comnunicated his concern over the deaths tolls and casualties on both sides.
"He condemned these indiscriminate attacks against towns and cities across Israel," the White House said on a statement.
Biden also raised concerns about the safety of journalists after Israeli air strikes on Saturday and voiced the need to protect them from attacks.
In a phone call with AP president and CEO Gary Pruitt, Secretary of State Antony Blinken offered "unwavering support for independent journalists and media organizations around the world," noting the "indispensability" of reporting in conflict zones, according to State Department spokesman Ned Price.
Biden also highlighted the need for strong commitment to a negotiated two-state solution, as the best way to end the Israeli- Palestinian conflict.
Meanwhile, Israel did repeated airstrikes on the Gaza Strip on Saturday, killing 10 members of an extended family, as Palestinian militants fired back barrages of rockets.
Clashes also swept the occupied West Bank.