US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Israel and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr met with Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Sunday, as part of a series of meetings in the region to encourage de-escalation.
Gantz told Amr that “Israel, which shares democratic values with the U.S., takes every precaution to strike at military targets only and avoid harming civilians, while its civilians are the targets of indiscriminate attack.
“The objective of the current military campaign is to restore long-term quiet to Israel’s borders and safety to its citizens,” Gantz added.
The defense minister’s spokeswoman said he asked the American delegation to thank US President Joe Biden for his support for “Israel’s right and duty to defend itself.”
The meeting took place right before a meeting of Israel’s Security Cabinet to weigh the next steps in Operation Guardians of the Walls.
Amr is also expected to meet with Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, but the meeting has not been scheduled yet and may take place after the cabinet meeting. He is also likely to met with Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz.
Amr also met with senior figures in Israeli Arab society, who asked him to work towards an immediate ceasefire, Channel 12 reported.
He reportedly responded that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not interested in a peacefire, which is commensurate with Netanyahu and other Israeli officials' public statements that Israel wants to continue to forcefully strike Hamas targets.
Amr is the only Biden Administration appointee focused on Israeli-Palestinian issues. The administration has yet to announce an ambassador to an Israel, nor an envoy for peace talks, which many presidents appoint.