The White House on Monday defended not publicly calling for a cease-fire in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying the Biden administration’s approach to reducing violence in the region is through “quiet, intensive diplomacy.”
Over the weekend, President Biden conveyed “the need for Hamas to cease firing rockets into Israel and affirmed Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorist attacks,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during the press briefing Monday, noting that Hamas has fired “more than 3,000 rockets” into Israel amid the ongoing conflict.
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“Our focus, our goal, every single action we take, every statement we make, is with the objective of reducing violence and bringing an end to conflict on the ground,” Psaki said.
“The prism we are making all our decisions through is how we can help to bring an end to violence and de-escalate the situation on the ground, and our calculation, at this point, is having those conversations behind the scenes, weighing in with our important strategic partnership we have with Israel and other countries in the region is the most constructive approach we can take,” Psaki said.
She added: “Our approach is through quiet, intensive diplomacy and that is where we feel we can be most effective.”
The White House also maintained that “the only way” to bring an end to the violence “is for there to be a two-state solution over time.”
“We share a view that a two-state solution is the only way to bring a lasting end to the violence,” Psaki said, while noting it is unclear, at this point, who in the administration would broker those negotiations.
The White House’s comments comes amid the worst violence between Israel and the Palestinians since the devastating 2014 war in Gaza.
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Hamas, the Palestinian militant group, then launched a sustained rocket campaign targeting civilian areas in Israel; in response, Israel directed heavy artillery a
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