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Biden, In Netanyahu Call, Urges `significant de-escalation’

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President Joe Biden arrives at Andrews Air Force Base after a trip to visit a Ford plant in Michigan, Tuesday, May 18, 2021, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(AP)–President Joe Biden has greatly increased the pressure on Israel to end the war with the Palestinians, making clear in a call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he expects “significant de-escalation” by day’s end. Biden asked Netanyahu to move “toward the path to a cease-fire.”

That’s according to a White House description of their conversation. Biden’s call came as political and international pressure mounts on him to intervene more forcefully to push an end to the hostilities.

Biden, until Wednesday, had avoided pressing Israel more directly and publicly for a cease-fire, or conveyed that level of urgency for ending Israeli airstrikes targeting Hamas in the thickly populated Gaza Strip.

 

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