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Biden backs Israel in talks with Netanyahu

US President Joe Biden held a telephone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday, May 15. This is reported on the website of the White House.

During the talks, Biden supported Israel's right to “defend itself in response to rocket attacks from Hamas and other terrorist groups” from the Gaza Strip.

The report also says that the American leader “condemned the indiscriminate attacks” on settlements “throughout Israel.” On the same day, Biden held talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for the first time since taking office. He told Abbas of the US commitment to resolving the conflict between Israel and Palestine “through diplomatic means.”

Biden last had a phone conversation with Netanyahu on May 13.

On May 10, Palestinian groups launched a massive bombardment of Israel — in total, more than a thousand rockets were fired at the country. In response, the Israeli army called up five thousand reservists and conducted operation “Guardians of the Wall”. The country's defense forces continued to strike targets in Gaza: according to the military, the homes of three senior Hamas leaders were destroyed. In total, 500 targets were hit in Gaza.

The escalation began amid clashes between Palestinians and Israelis on Jerusalem Day. The date commemorates the expansion of Israeli control over the eastern part of the city as a result of the 1967 Six-Day War. Israel considers Jerusalem its one and indivisible capital. Palestine, on the contrary, calls East Jerusalem occupied territory-this is supported by UN Security Council resolutions.

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