US President Joe Biden on Saturday held his first phone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas since taking office, amid heavy fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Biden has dispatched an envoy to try to quell the violence that has killed dozens in Gaza and at least 10 in Israel, but US, regional and international efforts have yet to show any signs of progress.
Biden also spoke to Netanyahu and reaffirmed 'strong support for Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Hamas and other groups in Gaza.’
Biden "stressed the need for Hamas to ceasefiring rockets into Israel," and the two men "expressed their shared concern that innocent civilians, including children, have tragically lost their lives amidst the ongoing violence," a summary of the call released by the White House said.
Biden also conveyed the "US commitment to strengthening the US-Palestinian partnership" and highlighted his administration's recent decision to restore aid to the Israeli-occupied West Bank and Gaza that had been cut under former President Donald Trump.
A summary of the call released by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA said Biden said he opposes the plunder of Palestinians from East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah, though the White House account of the conversation did not mention the case.
A long-running legal case over the evictions helped ignite tension in the holy city and spark fighting between Israel and Gaza militants.
Israeli fighter jets on Saturday bombed and demolished Jala Tower, a high-rise building in Gaza City housing Al Jazeera TV and Associated Press (AP) offices, as well as residential apartments.
Earlier during the day, demonstrators took to streets across a number of major US cities, demanding an end to the escalating violence in the Gaza Strip. In the capital Washington, D.C., hundreds took part in pro-Palestinian protests on Saturday, marching from the Washington Monument to the US Capitol, reports Xinhua news agency.
Also on Saturday, thousands of people rallied in Los Angeles in support of Palestinians. Local media said a handful of pro-Israel counter-protesters also gathered, and police officers kept the groups separated.
A demonstration that started in a neighbourhood in the Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, which has a large Arabic-speaking community, continued through the streets for several hours on Saturday afternoon, said an ABC News report.
In San Francisco, a raucous crowd banged drums and yelled "Palestine will be free" as they marched across the Mission district to Dolores Park, the report said, adding that pro-Palestinian demonstrations were also held in Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta and some other US cities.
The protests were planned for Nakba Day, which Palestinians observe every May 15 to commemorate the 1948 displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians amid Israel's war of independence, local media reported.
Egypt brokered the ceasefire, now in its fourth day after 11 days of hostilities.
At least 248 Palestinians were killed, including 66 children and 39 women, according to Gaza’s health ministry.
Explosives tied to balloons and kites first emerged as a weapon in Gaza during intense protests in 2018, when the makeshift devices drifted across the border daily, causing thousands of fires in Israeli farms and communities.
“In the first half of this year, RTA received 5,724 emergency reports through the Call Centre and (Madinati) through RTA DUBAI app. The instant response and sign-off rate clocked 99%, which reflects the mutual response between the community and RTA and the public’s keenness to protect the appearance of the emirate.
The Abu Dhabi Court for Family and Civil and Administrative Cases obligated a man to pay a lawyer’s office Dhs380,000, including Dhs360,000 as fees, in return for filing a lawsuit for a discharge of a Dhs2,500,000 cheque, besides Dhs20,000 in compensation for the damage the office incurred as a result of procrastination.
The Dubai Misdemeanours and Violations Court convicted an Asian investor who smuggled 213,000 cans of unauthorised energy drinks from the customs office in Jebel Ali, and sentenced him to one year in jail to be followed by deportation after serving his jail term.