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President Biden on Wednesday called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to demand a “significant de-escalation” in Israel’s conflict with Hamas. But Netanyahu said he won’t comply. Netanyahu instead said that he will forge ahead with Israeli operations against the Islamic fundamentalist group, which last week launched a barrage of rockets from Gaza toward Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. The Israeli leader said in a statement released after the two leaders spoke, “I am determined to continue this operation until its goal is achieved: to bring the quiet and security back to you, the citizens of Israel.” Biden told Netanyahu to move toward a ceasefire amid pressure from Democrats in Congress. The US leader initially gave explicit support for Israel’s airstrikes earlier in the days-long conflict. “The President conveyed to the Prime Minister that he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire,” the White House said in a readout of Biden’s Wednesday call. Biden and Netanyahu “had a detailed discussion on the state of events in Gaza” and about “Israel’s progress in degrading the capabilities of Hamas and other terrorist elements,” the White House said.

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