President Biden said he spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “for a while” on Wednesday amid escalating fighting between Israelis and Palestinians, and affirmed his “firm support” for “Israel’s right to defend itself.”
“I hope we’ll see this come to an end sooner rather than later,” Biden said in response to reporters’ questions.
According to a statement issued by the White House, Mr. Biden “condemned” the missile attacks on Israel and added that the US position is that Jerusalem be a “place of peace.”
Mr. Biden also said that national security and defense officials in his administration have been and will remain “in constant contact” with their counterparts in the Middle East. The White House added that during the phone call, Biden briefed Mr. Netanyahu on the United States’ diplomatic communication with Palestinian officials and other countries in the Middle East.
The call between the two leaders came on the same day that Secretary of State Anthony J. Blinken over the phone with Mr. Netanyahu. Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said Wednesday “firm support” for Israeli self-defense in a phone conversation with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz.