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May 19, 2021 10:51 am

Biden Urged ‘De-Escalation’ Today in New Call With Netanyahu

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

US President Joe Biden participates in a bilateral videoconference with Ireland’s Prime Minister Micheal Martin in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., March 17, 2021. REUTERS/Leah Millis

US President Joe Biden prodded Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday to immediately de-escalate tensions in the Gaza conflict “on the path” to a ceasefire, a White House spokeswoman said.

The fourth call in a week between the two leaders came after Netanyahu was quoted by Israeli media as saying he was not setting a timeframe for an end to more than a week of hostilities.

Biden has faced increasing pressure even from fellow Democrats to take a more active and public role to broker a ceasefire.

“The two leaders had a detailed discussion on the state of events in Gaza, Israel’s progress in degrading the capabilities of Hamas and other terrorist elements, and ongoing diplomatic efforts by regional governments and the United States,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.

“The president conveyed to the prime minister that he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire,” Jean-Pierre added.

The call took place shortly before Biden left Washington on a trip to a Coast Guard commencement ceremony in Connecticut.

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