Biden spoke to Netanyahu, believes Gaza conflict will conclude soon

Israel's Iron Dome aerial defence system intercepts rockets launched from the Gaza Strip

Israel's Iron Dome aerial defence system intercepts rockets launched from the Gaza Strip

Britain's Boris Johnson led worldwide leaders in calling for the two sides to step back from the brink yesterday, but a UN Security Council meeting failed to agree on a on a joint statement due to opposition from the United States, Israel's key ally, diplomats said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the State Department in Washington, April 5, 2021.

Mr Biden and Mr Blinken are diplomatic veterans with longstanding ties to Israel but support for the Jewish state has eroded on the Left amid alarm over Mr Netanyahu's increasingly Right-wing turn.

Palestinian militants have stockpiled enough missiles to continue bombing Israel for the next two months, security experts have warned, as escalating fighting led the United Nations to warn of "all-out war". "Our ally Israel has a right to defend themselves, and what's going on by Hamas is an absolute disgrace".

Since Monday, militants have fired more than 1,050 rockets from Gaza, according to the Israeli military, and Israel has conducted hundreds of strikes in the tiny territory where 2 million Palestinians have lived under a crippling Israeli-Egyptian blockade since Hamas took power in 2007. The government also called upon both sides to not do anything to change the status-quo on the ground.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivers a speech regarding the coronavirus pandemic, at PA headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 5, 2020.

Ido Avigal, who was killed in his home in Sderot by a rocket fired from Gaza on May 12, 2021.

Blinken is the most senior United States official to speak with Abbas since Biden entered office.

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The US president was also hopeful that the violence in the region would end soon.

Blinken at an earlier press conference described scenes of dead Palestinian civilians, including children, as "harrowing" but defended Israel's response to the rocket fire. "All efforts should be directed at avoiding civilian casualties, and supporting de-escalation".

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a state of emergency in Lod, near Tel Aviv, after reports emerged on Tuesday of Jews stoning a vehicle that was being driven by an Arab resident and of Arabs allegedly setting fire to a synagogue.

Israel's Magen David Adom ambulance service said a 50-year-old woman was killed when a rocket hit a building in the Tel Aviv suburb of Rishon Lezion, and that two women had been killed in rocket strikes on Ashkelon on Tuesday.

The latest eruption of violence began a month ago in Jerusalem, where heavy-handed tactics from Israeli police during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers ignited protests and clashes with police.

Palestinians had hoped that the new administration would take a mediating role after the exit of Donald Trump, who had adopted a policy of unstinting support for Israel and hostility towards the Palestinians.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz responded to the "shocking violence" seen in several Israeli cities, saying it is a threat, according to the Times of Israel.

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