JERUSALEM/RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) -U.S. President Joe Biden stressed continued U.S. support for Israel as well as the need for humanitarian aid for Palestinian civilians in calls on Saturday with the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the White House said.
In his first call with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas since Hamas' attack on Israel a week ago, Biden offered Abbas his full support for "urgently needed humanitarian assistance to Palestinian people, especially in Gaza."
"President Biden detailed U.S. efforts to coordinate with partners to prevent the conflict from widening, and the two leaders discussed the need to preserve stability in the West Bank and the broader region," the White House said in a statement.
The White House said Biden stressed unwavering U.S. support for Israel in his call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, with whom he has spoken regularly since the attack. Biden also updated the Israeli leader on U.S. military support and repeated his warning against any effort to broaden the conflict, it said.
Biden also discussed U.S. coordination with the UN and regional countries on humanitarian aid for civilians.
"President Biden reaffirmed his support for all efforts to protect civilians," the White House said.
The calls came as Israel was preparing on Saturday to launch a ground assault in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, after telling Palestinians living in the densely populated territory to flee south.
Netanyahu told Biden that "unity and determination" were needed to achieve Israel's combat goals against Gaza's Hamas rulers, Netanyahu's office said, adding that he thanked the president for his support.
Abbas' office said the Palestinian leader told Biden he completely rejects the displacement of Palestinians from Gaza, as Israel retaliates for a deadly Hamas attack on its territory.
(Reporting Emily Rose in Jerusalem and Ali Sawafta in Ramallah, Doina Chiacu in Washington; Editing by Daniel Wallis, Chizu Nomiyama and Diane Craft)