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American officials called for calm amid violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip. But they’re part of the problem.

In a State Department statement, the United States appealed for “calm,” urging “de-escalation on all sides,” while singling out Hamas for condemnation and defending Israel’s right to self-defense. This followed a previous statement after Israeli forces stormed the compound of the al-Aqsa Mosque, firing tear gas and stun grenades at hundreds gathered there both in protest and prayer, in which U.S. officials urged “both sides” to eschew unilateral actions. Palestinian protesters threw stones at police and some Jewish Israeli citizens, injuring a couple dozen Israelis. Meanwhile, the Palestinian Red Crescent said more than 600 Palestinians were injured in the Jerusalem altercations.

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