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June 23
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Israeli officials have argued behind the scenes that the Biden administration shouldn't intervene over the recent escalation in violence between security forces and Palestinians at a holy site in Jerusalem, according to Israeli officials, Axios reports.

After four years of close to no criticism by the Trump administration for its actions in the West Bank and Jerusalem, the Israeli government is now faced with a U.S. government that is much more critical.

President Biden has thus far viewed the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as a very low priority in comparison to other foreign policy issues.

The White House was not interested in spending much political capital or time on the issue, and was seeking to avoid a fight with Israel over the Palestinian conflict.

But the Jerusalem crisis that erupted over the weekend prompted many members of Congress and progressive organizations to weigh in and demand that the White House intervene.

The Biden administration has been monitoring the escalation in Jerusalem in recent days and raised its concerns with Israel both privately and publicly.

The issue was mainly being dealt with by the State Department, but the White House weighed in on Sunday when national security adviser Jake Sullivan called his Israeli counterpart Meir Ben Shabbat.

The White House said Sullivan raised concerns about tensions at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in East Jerusalem, where 300 Palestinians are under threat of eviction from their homes.

Sullivan also "encouraged the Israeli government to pursue appropriate measures to ensure calm during Jerusalem Day commemorations" being held on Monday, according to a White House summary of the call.

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