Biden to Netanyahu: Israel has a right to defend itself

Biden speaks to Netanyahu amid continued rocket attacks from Gaza: Israel has a right to defend itself when you have thousands of rockets flying into your territory.

Elad Benari ,

Joe Biden
Joe Biden
Reuters

US President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that he spoke to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the rocket attacks from Gaza.

“My expectation and hope this will be closing down sooner than later. Israel has a right to defend itself when you have thousands of rockets flying into your territory,” he said.

In a statement on the call, Netanyahu’s office said, “The Prime Minister thanked President Biden for the American backing of Israel's right to self-defense.”

“Prime Minister Netanyahu said that Israel would continue to take action to strike at the military capabilities of Hamas and the other terrorist organizations operating in the Gaza Strip,” the statement added.

Earlier on Wednesday, US Secretary of State Blinken also spoke with Netanyahu.

According to a spokesman for the US State Department, "The Secretary expressed his concerns regarding the barrage of rocket attacks on Israel, his condolences for the lives lost as a result, and the United States’ strong support for Israel’s right to defend itself."

"The Secretary and the Prime Minister discussed the ongoing violence in Jerusalem, and the Secretary reiterated his call on all parties to deescalate tensions and bring a halt to the violence. The Secretary emphasized the need for Israelis and Palestinians to be able to live in safety and security, as well as enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity, and democracy.

"Secretary Blinken and Prime Minister Netanyahu acknowledged the steadfast partnership between the United States and Israel and committed to working together on challenges ahead."

On Tuesday, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke with Israeli National Security Advisor Meir Ben Shabbat.

According to a statement from the White House, Sullivan “condemned the ongoing rocket attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups, including against Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. He conveyed the President’s unwavering support for Israel’s security and for its legitimate right to defend itself and its people, while protecting civilians.”

Sullivan “also conveyed the United States’ encouragement of steps toward restoring a sustainable calm. They agreed to continue to stay in close touch,” said a statement from the White House.

Biden also wrote a letter to Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas asking him to end the current escalation with Israel.



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