Israel, Palestine strikes: US President Joe Biden’s ‘grave concern’ over conflict

US President Joe Biden has expressed “grave concern” over the flare-up of violence in Israel and Gaza, the White House said.

Speaking on the sixth day of a paroxysm of Israeli-Palestinian violence that has left scores dead or wounded, Biden expressed his “strong support” for Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket attacks by “Hamas and other terrorist groups”. Biden made the remarks in a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“He condemned these indiscriminate attacks against towns and cities across Israel,” the White House said in a statement.

But Biden also raised concerns about the safety of journalists after Israeli air strikes on Saturday flattened a building in Gaza housing The Associated Press and other international media outlets.

Biden, who up to now has said little publicly about the flare-up, voiced US support for a negotiated two-state solution to the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

He made the same point in a separate phone call with president Mahmud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, the White House said, highlighting “strong commitment to a negotiated two-state solution as the best path to reach a just and lasting resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

The US leader, in his first call with Abbas since taking office, also “stressed the need for Hamas to cease firing rockets into Israel.”

Read the article by Sarah Blake, Jessica McSweeney, Mitch Ryan and AFP in The Australian.