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Israel-Palestine: White House is closely monitoring​ escalating violence

After an Israeli bombing killed 11 Palestinians in the West Bank city of Nablus, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters that the Biden administration is closely monitoring the recent escalation of longtime tensions in the region. "Yesterday's events further underscore the urgent need for both sides to take steps that de-escalate tensions, prevent further loss of civilian life, and work together to improve the security situation in the West Bank," she said. She also noted that NSC officials in the region plan to meet with leaders of several Middle Eastern nations in the coming days to discuss further action.

Video Transcript

- We're seeing violence escalate in the Middle East. And I know-- I think we all know the president's stated position on Israeli security and Palestinian statehood, but what can this administration do right now to keep that from spiraling out of control?

KARINE JEAN-PIEERE: So let me just speak to the most recent violence that we have seen in Israel. I know my colleagues at the State Department spoke to this yesterday, and I just wanted to reiterate because I think it's important for us to reiterate from here at the podium. We're tracking the Israeli raid in Nablus very closely and mourn the loss of civilian lives. We hope for the speedy recovery of those injured.

While we recognize the very real security concerns facing Israel in the West Bank and Garza, we are extremely concerned by the ongoing violence. We urge Israel and Palestinian Authority to protect against further loss of civilian life. Yesterday's events further underscored the urgent need for both sides to take steps that de-escalate tensions, prevent further loss of civilian life, and work together to improve the security situation in the West Bank. And that's what we think we need to be doing together.

One thing I do want to just read out a little bit here-- the National Security Council coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, Brett McGurk, is currently in the Middle East-North Africa region with an interagency delegation for a series of diplomatic engagements. His trip will include stops in Egypt, Jordan, Oman, UAE. And we don't have anything further to preview on this engagement at this time. But this is something, clearly, that we take very seriously. You know Secretary Blinken was in the region recently. And so again, we're going to continue to call out the concerns that we're seeing. And I'll just leave it there for now.