Biden urged ‘de-escalation’ today in new call with Netanyahu

The fourth call in a week between the two leaders came after Netanyahu was quoted by Israeli media as saying he was not setting a timeframe for an end to more than a week of hostilities.

Biden has faced increasing pressure even from fellow Democrats to take a more active and public role to broker a ceasefire.

“The two leaders had a detailed discussion on the state of events in Gaza, Israel’s progress in degrading the capabilities of Hamas and other terrorist elements, and ongoing diplomatic efforts by regional governments and the United States,” White House spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters.

“The president conveyed to the prime minister that he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire,” Jean-Pierre added.

The call took place shortly before Biden left Washington on a trip to a Coast Guard commencement ceremony in Connecticut.An Israeli soldiers carries artillery shells during to be fired towards the Gaza Strip, along the border with the Palestinian enclave on May 19, 2021. - Israel is studying whether conditions are right to stop bombing Palestinian militants in Gaza but is preparing for "more days" of strikes if necessary, an Israeli military source said today.© JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images An Israeli soldiers carries artillery shells during to be fired towards the Gaza Strip, along the border with the Palestinian enclave on May 19, 2021. – Israel is studying whether conditions are right to stop bombing Palestinian militants in Gaza but is preparing for “more days” of strikes if necessary, an Israeli military source said today.

Palestinian medical officials said 219 people have been killed in 10 days of aerial bombardments, which have destroyed roads, buildings and other infrastructure, and worsened the already dire humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Israeli authorities put the death toll at 12 in Israel, where repeated rocket attacks have caused panic and sent people rushing into shelters. Regional and U.S.-led diplomatic efforts to secure a ceasefire have intensified but so far failed.

(Reporting by Andrea Shalal and Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Will Dunham)

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