Washington, May 12: The US White House on Tuesday (local time) expressed "serious concern" over the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine, calling for de-escalation of tensions between both countries by establishing a two-state solution.
Speaking at her daily press briefing, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said: "The President has been briefed daily on developments in Jerusalem and Gaza. He just received another update before I came out here from the National Security Advisor."
"Since last week, he has directed his team to engage intensively with senior Israeli and Palestinian officials, as well as leaders throughout the Middle East. His team is communicating a clear and consistent message in support of de-escalation, and that is our primary focus," she added. Psaki added that the US stands against extremism that has inflicted violence on both Israeli and Palestinian communities. Jerusalem Tensions: Ben Gurion Airport Closed After One Killed in Rocket Attack Near Tel Aviv by Palestinian Militants in Gaza.
"We will also continue to support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That is the only way to ensure the just and lasting peace that two peoples have struggled to achieve. We believe Palestinians and Israelis deserve equal measures of freedom, security, dignity, and prosperity," she said.
She also said that US officials have spoken to their Israeli counterparts on how evictions of Palestinian families and demolitions of these homes work against their common interests in achieving a solution to the conflict.
Meanwhile, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Tuesday (local time) spoke to his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben Shabbat, where he condemned the ongoing rocket attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups.
"He also conveyed the United States' encouragement of steps toward restoring a sustainable calm. They agreed to continue to stay in close touch. Sullivan also spoke today with the Government of Egypt on the situation in Gaza and Jerusalem. They discussed steps to restore calm over the coming days and agreed to stay in close touch," read a White House readout. Hundreds of Rockets Fired from Gaza Toward Tel Aviv and Central Israel, Iron Dome Systems at Work; Watch Videos.
This comes as the tensions between Israel and Palestine are rapidly escalating, with ramping up of rocket attacks and airstrikes from both sides. Three people have been killed in rocket strikes from Gaza on Tel Aviv.
On Tuesday, Hamas said that it fired 137 rockets in around five minutes in an apparent attempt to overwhelm the Iron Dome missile defense system. Over 630 rockets were fired at Israel from Monday evening through Tuesday afternoon, 200 of which were intercepted by Iron Dome missile defence batteries while 150 others fell short of their targets and landed inside the Strip, according to the army.
Meanwhile, Israeli bombing raids across Gaza from Monday have killed at least 28 people, including 10 children, and injured at least 152 more, CNN reported citing Palestinian health officials. The Israeli military said it had killed more than 15 militants.
The country has been embroiled in conflict over the impending eviction of dozens of Palestinians from East Jerusalem's neighbourhood. Over 70 Palestinians in total are set to be evicted from Sheikh Jarrah in the coming weeks to be replaced by right-wing Jewish Israelis. Indian Woman in Israel Killed in Rocket Attack by Palestinian Militants from Gaza.
The Palestinians live in houses built on land that courts have ruled were owned by Jewish religious associations before the establishment of Israel in 1948, reported The Times of Israel. Over 300 Palestinians have been injured in the riots, several of them seriously hurt by rubber-tipped bullets in the head, eye and jaw.
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