Washington, Tutu speak out on Israeli-Palestinian violence
Washington urged Israel and Palestinian leadership to de-escalate tensions Wednesday while other world leaders described the airstrike exchanges as "childish," according to Reuters and Agence France Presse.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told Reuters and other reporters in a briefing that Washington is "concerned about the safety and security of civilians on both sides and are encouraging all sides to de-escalate the situation."
According to Psaki, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry talked with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the situation and was planning to call Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as well that same day.
Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu also weighed in on the strikes Wednesday, describing Israeli and Palestinian leadership as "childish" for using what he described as "tit-for-tat violence."
"Once again, the people of Israel and Palestine are embroiled in a deadly contest of tit-for-tat violence in which there can never be vctors, only losers. Like children following a playground dust-up, political and religious leaders fall over each other, not to make peace, but to proclaim: It wasn't us, they started it," the South African leader told AFP.
"The world is looking to Israelis and Palestinians to be bigger than themselves; to act now, before any more children are harmed," Tutu added.
Dozens of Palestinians have been killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza over the past week and Hamas' retaliatory rockets into Israel have also created alarm and threat to civilians, including women and children.