On the situation in Jerusalem and Gaza, the President has been updated on events in both cities on a regular basis. Before I arrived, he got another update from the National Security Advisor. He has led his team to meet with senior Israeli and Palestinian officials, as well as representatives from around the Middle East, since last week.
His team is sending out a strong and consistent message in favor of de-escalation, and that is where we are concentrating our efforts.
The President's commitment to Israel's defense, as well as its legitimate right to defend itself and its citizens, is unwavering.
We condemn Hamas and other terrorist groups for continuing to launch rocket attacks, particularly against Jerusalem.
We also oppose extremism, which has caused violence in both societies. Jerusalem, a city revered by people of faith all over the world, must be a place of peace. Officials, citizens, and leaders must work together to restore peace to the area.
And as we work closely with our allies to stop acts of aggression and terrorism, the President and his team will continue to seek the conditions for diplomacy, dialogue, de-escalation, and civilian security.
In addition, we will continue to advocate for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That is the only way to ensure a fair and long-lasting peace between two peoples.
Palestinians and Israelis, we believe, all deserve equal rights, protection, dignity, and prosperity. In recent weeks, US officials have spoken candidly with Israeli officials about how evictions of Palestinian families who have lived in their homes for years, if not decades, and demolitions of these homes are counterproductive to our shared interests in finding a solution to the conflict.
Let us affirm that all people of faith deserve to enjoy these vital festivities without fear of violence in the coming days, as Muslims gather with family and friends to celebrate Eid and Jews come together to mark the beginning of Shabbat.