Austin condemns Hamas' 'targeting of Israeli civilians'

Sunday, 16. May 2021 01:56

United States Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin said that he spoke to his Israeli counterpart Benny Gantz and expressed support for Israel amid heightened tensions with Palestine.

"I reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself and condemned Hamas’ deliberate targeting of Israeli civilians. I also expressed my hope that calm can be restored soon," Austin said in a tweet.

Earlier, US President Joe Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, during which he reaffirmed support for a two-state solution and Israel's right to "defend itself" but raised concerns about civilian casualties and the safety of journalists after Israel targeted a building housing several international outlets. Meanwhile, Netanyahu insisted Israel is "doing everything to avoid harming" those not involved with Hamas but added the attacks on Gaza will continue.

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