L-R: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the ruins of a building brought down by the IDF on Saturday in Gaza and U.S. President Joe Biden

Netanyahu to Biden: Israel doing all it can to avoid civilian casualties

Call comes as Biden envoy arrives in region; readout says PM 'thanked president for support of United States for our right to defend ourselves; U.S. president also holds 'important' phone call with Abbas, according to Palestinian leader's office

Reuters, Ynet |
Published: 05.15.21 , 21:10
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told U.S. President Joe Biden on Saturday that Israel "is doing everything to avoid harming" people who are not involved in its fighting with Hamas and other groups in Gaza.
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  • It was second conversation between the two since Israel and the Gaza terror groups began the current round of fighting on Monday.
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    L-R: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the ruins of a building brought down by the IDF on Saturday in Gaza and U.S. President Joe Biden
    L-R: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the ruins of a building brought down by the IDF on Saturday in Gaza and U.S. President Joe Biden
    L-R: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the ruins of a building brought down by the IDF on Saturday in Gaza and U.S. President Joe Biden
    (Photos: EPA, AP, Hadar Yoavian)
    According to a summary of the phone call released Saturday by Netanyahu's office, the prime minister told Biden that "the uninvolved were evacuated" from a Gaza tower block that housed media offices and other offices and apartments and that was destroyed earlier in the day in an IAF strike.
    "Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked the president for the support of the United States for our right to defend ourselves," the readout said.
    White Press Secretary Jen Psaki tweeted following the demolition of the building that, the U.S. has "communicated directly to the Israelis that ensuring the safety and security of journalists and independent media is a paramount responsibility."
    2 צפייה בגלריה
    Then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in  2016
    Then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in  2016
    Then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2016
    Biden also spoke by phone with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, whose spokesman said he had received an "important" phone call from the U.S. president.
    It was the first call between the two leaders since Biden took office in January.
    Biden dispatched U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israel and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr to the region on Friday to help work for calm.
    As Amr arrived, the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem said on Twitter that he intended to “reinforce the need to work toward a sustainable calm, recognizing Israel’s right to self-defense. Israelis and Palestinians deserve equal measures of freedom, security, dignity and prosperity.”
    Since Monday night, Hamas has fired thousands of rockets into Israel, which has pounded the Gaza Strip with strikes.
    In Gaza, at least 139 people have been killed, including 39 children; in Israel, eight people have been killed, including the death Saturday of a man killed by a rocket that hit in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv.
    The UN Security Council was planning to meet Sunday morning to discuss the fighting.
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