Photo source: AFP
For the first time, President Biden expressed support for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza on Monday. But he also reiterated that Israel had a right to defend itself. He stopped short of publicly calling on Israel to change its approach though there is a rising international condemnation, disapproval, and criticism. But after the deaths of dozens of Palestinian children the devastating rocket and missile war there gave no sign of easing.
Over eight days, Hamas has fired nearly 3,350 rockets so far and has killed nine civilians in Israel, including two children, and at least one soldier. But in Gaza, Palestinian families have paid a much greater price. at least 212 Palestinians had been killed in Gaza, including 61 children, according to health officials there, and many have been left homeless since May 10. Gazan officials said that more than 600 homes or businesses had been destroyed and more than 6,400 damaged. United Nations officials said that at least 800,000 residents lack regular access to safe drinking water.
The statement, issued after Mr. Biden spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, was the furthest that the president has gone toward calling for an end to the rocket and missile war. Israel’s leaders have said that they are in no hurry to end the airstrike campaign and have insisted that the military will continue until it reaches its goals of stopping Hamas’s rocket and making the specific group “pay a price” although Palestinian civilians got attacked from their airstrike.