Nides: US working toward ‘quick deescalation’

The U.S. ambassador emphasized Israel’s “right to defend itself” against Palestinian terror rockets.


U.S. Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides said on Thursday that Washington was working to broker a ceasefire to end two-plus days of fighting between the Israel Defense Forces and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza.

“Concerned about the continuing rocket launches today. We stand by Israel’s right to defend itself,” Nides tweeted, adding: “Working towards a quick deescalation.”

Reports surfaced on Wednesday evening that the sides had agreed in principle to an Egyptian-mediated truce, but that did not materialize.

U.S. and Qatari officials reportedly also were involved in the effort to restore calm.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Wednesday night updated his U.S. counterpart Lloyd Austin on the latest developments with “Operation Shield and Arrow” against PIJ.

Gallant briefed Austin on the elimination of several senior PIJ leaders and detailed the imminent threats they had posed. He further noted “the IDF’s readiness for every operational scenario, including a prolonged, multi-front campaign.”

Gallant emphasized that PIJ had launched more than 500 rockets indiscriminately at Israeli civilian centers since the conflict erupted on Tuesday morning.

Also Wednesday, U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke with his Israeli counterpart Tzachi Hanegbi about the conflict in Gaza, according to a White House statement.

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“Sullivan reaffirmed the administration’s ironclad support for Israel’s security, as well as its right to defend its people from indiscriminate rocket attacks,” the statement said. “Sullivan also noted continued regional efforts to broker a ceasefire, and emphasized the need to de-escalate tensions and prevent further loss of life.”

For his part, Nides is slated to depart his role this summer after two years in the job. He told senior staff at the embassy on Tuesday morning about his planned departure.

Nides cited personal reasons, having been away from his family since December 2021.