After speaking to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Wednesday (local time) spoke to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and emphasised the need to de-escalate tensions.
In a statement, US State Department spokesperson Ned Price said that Blinken and Abbas discussed the violence in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza, and the Secretary expressed his condolences for the lives lost as a result.
The US State Secretary also condemned the rocket attacks and emphasised the need to de-escalate tensions and bring the current violence to an end.
He also expressed his belief that Palestinians and Israelis deserve equal measures of freedom, dignity, security and prosperity. He conveyed his best wishes for Eid and that peace and calm may prevail.
Earlier, Blinken and Netanyahu discussed the ongoing violence in Jerusalem and the Secretary reiterated his call on all parties to de-escalate tensions and bring a halt to the violence.The US Secretary expressed his concerns regarding the barrage of rocket attacks on Israel, his condolences for the lives lost as a result, and the US' strong support for Israel's right to defend itself.
The ongoing violence between Israel and Palestine marks a dramatic escalation of tensions linked to the potential eviction of Palestinian families from East Jerusalem by Israeli settlers and access to one of the most sacred sites in the city, which is a key hub for Islam, Judaism and Christianity.
With ramping up of rocket attacks and airstrikes from both sides, concerns have emerged that the conflict is likely to evolve into a full-blown war.
Meanwhile, the death toll in Gaza rose to 67 Palestinians, including 16 children and five women, Al Jazeera quoted the Gaza Health Ministry. At least 365 people have been wounded, including 86 children and 39 women.
On the other hand, a five-year-old boy was killed and at least 20 Israelis were hurt as Gaza launched a fresh spade of rocket attacks that set off warning sirens in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area and cities in the south on Wednesday night, reported The Times of Israel. The death toll in Israel has reached seven.
( With inputs from ANI )
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