WASHINGTON, USA – US president Joe Biden in a call with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Monday, “expressed his support for a ceasefire and discussed US engagement with Egypt and other partners towards that end. The two leaders agreed that they and their teams would remain in close touch.”

The White House said president Biden, “reiterated his firm support for Israel’s right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks.”

The statement also said: The president welcomed efforts to address intercommunal violence and to bring calm to Jerusalem. He encouraged Israel to make every effort to ensure the protection of innocent civilians.”

“The two leaders discussed progress in Israel’s military operations against Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza.”

Last Saturday, Senator Bob Menendez, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said: “I am deeply troubled by reports of Israeli military actions that resulted in the death of innocent civilians in Gaza as well as Israeli targeting of buildings housing international media outlets. In response to thousands of rocket attacks fired by Hamas aimed at civilians, Israel has every right to self-defense from terrorists committed to wipe her off the face of the map. But no matter how dangerous and real that threat maybe, I have always believed the strength of the US-Israeli relationship flourishes when it is based on the shared values of democracy, freedom, pluralism, and respect for human rights and the rule of law.

“Given the complexity of Gaza’s densely populated civilian areas, and Hamas’s shameful record of exploiting that reality by hiding military assets behind the innocent, Israeli authorities must continue taking the conscientious practice of giving advance warning of its attacks to reduce the risk of harm to the innocent. I also believe there must be a full accounting of actions that have led to civilian deaths and destruction of media outlets.

“All political and military leaders have a responsibility to uphold the rules and laws of war and it is of the utmost importance for all actors to find ways to deescalate and reduce tensions. This violence must end. Any death of civilians and innocent Jews and Arabs alike is a setback to stability and peace in the Middle East.”

Former president of Guyana, Donald Ramotar, reiterated that “president Biden is in the position now to correct many of the wrongs done to the poor people of Palestine.”

Recalling Sir Winston Churchill comment, “that you can always depend on the Americans to do the right thing after they tried everything else, ” … and it is time now for America to do the ‘right thing’ by the Palestinian people.”

Last Sunday, Pope Francis launched an appeal for calm and asked leaders of both sides “to put a stop to the roar of weapons and to follow the paths of peace, even with the help of the international community,” reciting the “Regina Coeli” prayer with hundreds of people in St Peter’s Square.

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