update desk

White House, State welcome Israel-PIJ ceasefire

The U.S. secretary of state spoke with the Qatari prime minister and the deputy secretary of state with the Israeli minister for strategic affairs, according to the State Department.

The White House in Washington, D.C. Photo by Menachem Wecker.
The White House in Washington, D.C. Photo by Menachem Wecker.

Washington welcomed the Egypt-brokered ceasefire announcement “between Israel and Gaza-based militants,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre announced on May 13.

“We are grateful for the critical diplomatic efforts of [Egyptian] President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and senior Egyptian officials, as well as Amir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani of Qatar,” she stated.

State Department spokesman Matthew Miller also welcomed the ceasefire in a statement, although he referred to “hostilities in Israel and Gaza,” rather than violence between Israel and militants in Gaza.

“We express our condolences to the families of civilians who were killed and those who were injured in the violence,” stated Miller. He, too, commended “Egypt’s crucial role” and “Qatar’s robust efforts.”

Earlier in the day, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, Qatari prime minister and minister of foreign affairs, according to the  State Department.

Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman spoke on May 12 with Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, to “reiterate the United States’ enduring commitment to Israel’s security and to convey her condolences for the Israeli citizen killed in yesterday’s rocket attacks,” the State Department said in a statement.

Sherman also “strongly condemned the indiscriminate launch of rockets into Israel from Gaza-based terrorist groups, which endangers the welfare of both Israelis and Palestinians,” according to the statement.

Washington “reaffirms our ironclad commitment to Israel’s security,” Miller added in his May 13 statement. “We will remain engaged with our partners to promote calm in the weeks and months ahead. We also will continue our efforts to improve quality of life for Palestinians and we urge the swift delivery of fuel and other critical supplies into Gaza.”

“The United States believes that Israelis and Palestinians both deserve to live safely and securely and to enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity and democracy,” he stated.

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