May 22, 2021, 01.34 AM
German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, right, and Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi visit the site of a rocket attack in the central Israeli city of Petah Tikvah, (20/5/2021) German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, right, and Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi visit the site of a rocket attack in the central Israeli city of Petah Tikvah, (20/5/2021)

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres ?had ?reiterated his call for an immediate cease-fire, saying it? was ?urgent that hostilities?were de-escalated to prevent an "uncontainable cross-border security and humanitarian crisis."

As the diplomats talked, there was more cross-border firing early Thursday. Israeli airstrikes hit Gaza City and the towns of Deir al-Balah and Khan Younis.

Diplomacy

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas traveled to the region Thursday to meet with Israeli and Palestinian officials. He called the visit "a sign of solidarity with the people on both sides who fear for their lives day and night, as Israel must defend itself against Hamas' rocket terror."

Biden, in his Thursday remarks, said his administration "will continue our quiet, relentless diplomacy" to work toward a lasting peace in the region.

In the near term, Biden said the United States is committed to work with the United Nations and other international stakeholders to provide rapid humanitarian assistance support for the people of Gaza, as well as reconstruction efforts.

This will be done in full partnership with the Palestinian Authority, not Hamas, which controls Gaza "in a manner that does not permit Hamas to simply restock its military arsenal," Biden said.

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