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Biden tells Netanyahu of ‘concern’ over Gaza, Jewish-Arab violence, Jerusalem tensions and West Bank

The White House now puts out a readout on US President Joe Biden’s phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying he backed Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket attacks by Hamas and other Gaza-based terror groups on Israeli population centers.

“The president updated the prime minister on high-level US engagement with regional partners on this issue and discussed ongoing diplomatic efforts. The president noted that this current period of conflict has tragically claimed the lives of Israeli and Palestinian civilians, including children. He raised concerns about the safety and security of journalists and reinforced the need to ensure their protection,” the statement says.

Biden also expresses “grave concern” about the ethnic violence between Jews and Arabs in Israel, according to the White House. “He welcomed the statements by the prime minister and other leaders opposing such hateful acts and encouraged continued steps to hold violent extremists accountable and to establish calm,” it says.

The statement further says the two leaders discussed tensions in Jerusalem and “their shared desire” for the city “to be a place of peaceful coexistence for people of all faiths and backgrounds.”

Additionally, Biden “voiced his concern” about recent violence in the West Bank.

“The president voiced his concern about violent confrontations in the West Bank. He expressed his support for steps to enable the Palestinian people to enjoy the dignity, security, freedom, and economic opportunity that they deserve and affirmed his support for a two-state solution,” the statement says.

It concludes: “The leaders agreed to continue the close consultation between their teams and to remain in touch in the days ahead.”

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