Wednesday 12 May 2021
Washington / Bear A.
The White House announced, on Tuesday night / Wednesday, American and Egyptian moves to restore calm in the Gaza Strip.
The White House said in a statement that US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan discussed with Egyptian government officials about the situation in Gaza and Jerusalem, and discussed steps to restore calm in the coming days and agreed to maintain close contact.
Sullivan also spoke with Meir Ben Shabat, Israel’s National Security Adviser. The US official condemned “the continuous missile attacks launched by Hamas and other terrorist groups, including against Jerusalem and Tel Aviv,” according to the statement.
Sullivan conveyed “President (American Joe Biden) steadfast support for Israel’s security and its legitimate right to defend itself and its people, while protecting civilians. He also conveyed the United States’ encouragement for steps aimed at restoring sustainable calm. And they agreed to continue to remain in close contact.”
These developments came against the backdrop of violent confrontations between hundreds of Palestinians and the Israeli police in Gaza and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, east of Jerusalem.
More than twenty Palestinians were killed on Monday, among them many children. Two Israelis were killed in a Palestinian bombing of Ashkelon on Tuesday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to strengthen the pace and intensity of the raids launched by Israel on the Gaza Strip, and threatened Hamas that it would face strikes.