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Biden urges calm in first call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas

US President Joe Biden urged calm between Israel and Gaza on Saturday and affirmed his support for a two-state solution in his first phone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas since taking office, the official Palestinian news agency said.

Biden dispatched an envoy to the region on Friday to work for calm.

Biden told Abbas the United States “is making efforts with the concerned parties to reach the goal” of reducing violence in the region, a summary of the call published by WAFA said.

Biden also said the United States opposes the eviction of Palestinians from East Jerusalem’s Sheikh Jarrah, the summary said.

President Biden also spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday and raised concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza and the bombing of the building that housed AP and other media offices.

In Gaza, at least 144 people have been killed since Monday, including 39 children and 22 women.

Israel’s army destroyed in an airstrike Saturday the 13-floor building housing Qatar-based Al-Jazeera television and American news agency The Associated Press in the Gaza Strip.

Read More: Israeli airstrike in Gaza destroys building with international media houses

Israel “destroyed Jala Tower in the Gaza Strip, which contains the Al-Jazeera office and other international press offices,” Al-Jazeera said in a tweet, with an AP journalist saying the army had warned the tower’s owner ahead of the strike.

The building also contained a number of apartments and other offices.

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