WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The deadly violence between Israel and Gaza continues even after U.S. President Joe Biden expressed support for a cease-fire during a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Rockets launched from Gaza have killed 12 people in Israel, including at least one child. Israeli airstrikes have killed 215 Palestinians, including 61 children.
The White House and Secretary of State Antony Blinken say Biden is working to de-escalate the conflict.
“Our goal remains to bring the current cycle of violence to an end as quickly as possible and then bring the parties back to the work of building lasting stability,” said Blinken.
More than 25 Democratic senators are calling on Biden to demand an immediate cease-fire and some House Democrats are questioning whether a previously approved arms sale to Israel should move forward.
“The chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, he’s indicated that the Biden administration has agreed to conversation… on any issue that may be connected to the arms sale,” said Rep. Hakeen Jeffries (D-NY).
But some Republican lawmakers are pressuring Biden to express more support for Israel, saying Hamas is a terrorist organization funded by Iran.
“Those calling for a cease-fire are basically suggesting that there is moral equivalency. I think we need to stand by our Israeli friends, imagining what our reaction would be if someone was launching missiles into Washington,” said Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
The Biden administration did express support for Israel and its right to defend itself from rocket attacks but Blinken said the U.S. also supports the long-term goal of a two-state solution which he said can only move forward if there’s peace in the region.