White House calls for calm as violence flares between Gaza, Israel

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The White House Friday called for calm as violence between Gaza and Israel spirals out of control after a senior militant was killed during Israeli air strikes.

“We’re actively engaged with Israelis and Palestinians and regional partners to work towards achieving a calm in the wake of the strikes, and we certainly urge all sides to avoid further escalation,” National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said.

Kirby said the US stood by Israel and remained “unwavering” in its commitment to Israel’s security. “We absolutely fully support Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorist groups that have taken the lives of innocent civilians in Israel,” he added.

Israel carried out air strikes in Gaza on Friday, which resulted in the killing of a senior commander in the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), Tayseer al-Jabari.

The PIJ vowed to respond and threatened an all-out war, promising to send rockets into Tel Aviv.

The latest violence risks sparking another war in Gaza, ruled by the militant group Hamas.

Gaza witnessed the biggest outbreak of violence since 2014 between Palestinian factions and Israel last year, forcing US President Joe Biden to engage and put other priorities aside quickly.

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