Biden's Middle East Diplomacy: Phone Calls with Netanyahu and Abbas

In the throes of heightened tensions in the Middle East, US President Joseph Biden has directly engaged with both Israeli and Palestinian leadership.

by Faruk Imamovic
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Biden's Middle East Diplomacy: Phone Calls with Netanyahu and Abbas
© Getty Images News/Drew Angerer

In the throes of heightened tensions in the Middle East, US President Joseph Biden has directly engaged with both Israeli and Palestinian leadership. Today, President Biden held telephonic discussions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, according to official statements from both regions.

Netanyahu and Biden Discuss Unity and Strategy

During the conversation with President Biden, Prime Minister Netanyahu highlighted the significance of "unity and determination" in achieving Israel's objectives against Hamas, the governing authority in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli Prime Minister's office also conveyed that Netanyahu expressed profound gratitude towards the US president for his steadfast support in these tumultuous times. Contrarily, in the backdrop of Israel's retaliation to a perilous assault by Hamas on Israeli grounds, President Abbas conveyed a stern stance to President Biden.

The Palestinian leader emphasized his outright rejection of any proposal that entails the displacement of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip.

Concerns for Civilian Safety amid Escalation

The ongoing conflict's repercussions aren't limited to the immediate warring parties.

Civilian life in Gaza stands severely threatened. The area is grappling with the lack of power, diminishing fresh water supplies, and limited access to essential aid. With Israel's intensified offensive against Hamas militants in Gaza City, the situation stands to deteriorate further.

Egyptian authorities have, however, offered a sliver of hope. They announced that the southern Rafah crossing, a critical transit point, would be opened later on Saturday for the first time in several days, facilitating foreigners to exit the region.

While the urgency of the situation is evident, a US official clarified that Washington has neither urged Israel to decelerate nor halt its evacuation plans. Yet, the importance of safeguarding civilian lives was underscored during discussions with Israeli authorities.

Although the official wasn't authorized to divulge the details of these private talks and chose to remain anonymous, they affirmed that Israeli leadership received the advice on civilian safety with an understanding of its gravity.

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