Biden spoke to Netanyahu, believes Gaza conflict will conclude soon

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Pleas for calm appeared in vain as Israeli and Palestinian leaders traded blood-curdling threats and further rocket strikes, with a rocket setting off alarms in the north of Israel in the early hours of Thursday morning - some 62 miles North of Gaza - sending thousands of Israelis to shelters.

The Israeli Defence Force has shared this harrowing image of new fathers cradling their newborn's in a maternity ward hallway.

Medics evacuate an injured man during clashes between Arab and Jews in Acre, northern Israel, May 12, 2021.

"Israel has gone insane", said a man on a Gaza street, where people ran out of their homes as explosions rocked buildings. "The shocking violence in Bat Yam, Acre, Lod and other cities turns our stomachs and breaks the hearts of us all", he added.

Mr Blinken repeated on Wednesday that the USA remains committed to a two-state solution, which mirrors the official Biden administration position.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas delivers a speech regarding the coronavirus pandemic, at PA headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, May 5, 2020.

India also condemned rocket fire from Gaza, Tirumurti tweeted. The plane was forced to fly in circles for an hour due to the rocket fire before it could land at a different Israeli airport. But Netanyahu said they will continue to strike Hamas militants and their military capabilities.

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Israel's defence minister Benny Gantz vowed more attacks on Gaza to bring "total, long-term quiet" before they would consider truce talks after six days of violence.

Israel's Magen David Adom ambulance service said a 50-year-old woman was killed when a rocket hit a building in the Tel Aviv suburb of Rishon Lezion, and that two women had been killed in rocket strikes on Ashkelon on Tuesday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a phone call with US President Joe Biden on Wednesday in which Biden expressed support for Israel and stressed its right to self-defense. The US delivered a letter to Abbas on Monday from Biden that was written prior to the latest round of violence, but the president has yet to speak to his Palestinian counterpart.

Israel on Thursday pressed ahead with a fierce military offensive in the Gaza Strip, killing as many as 11 senior Hamas military figures and toppling a pair of high-rise towers housing Hamas facilities in a series of airstrikes.

Israel's attacks on Gaza follow weeks of violence against Palestinians amid spiking tensions in Jerusalem during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. The death toll continues to climb as violence spreads to the streets of mixed Arab-Jewish cities in Israel.

Bernie Sanders, Democrat Senator from Vermont who is outspoken on the issue, said: "The United States must call for an immediate cease-fire and an end to provocative and illegal settlement activity".

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