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By Samuel Burke, CNN
The United States must take action to quell the escalating violence in the Middle East, Israeli Knesset Member Daniel Ben-Simon said Friday.
“It’s time for the White House to call and to look at what’s happening here,” Ben-Simon of the Israeli Labor Party told CNN’s Hala Gorani.
Even though the United States has publicly given verbal support to Israel and blames the escalation of violence on Hamas firing of rockets into Israel, Ben-Simon senses an absence from the White House in that region. He fears a regional war beyond Gaza, if newly re-elected President Barack Obama does not step in.
“Benjamin Netanyahu has been prime minister for seven years. This is his first war. I cannot predict how far he will go. What I can tell you because is its becoming a serious crisis because Tel Aviv has been hit… I can’t tell you how serious it’s becoming.” He emphasized support from the U.N. and Europe is not enough, without, “the boss” as he referred to the U.S., stepping in.
Meanwhile, after returning to Egypt from his trip to Gaza Thursday, the Chief of the Egyptian Presidential Cabinet called for an end to the violence.
“I am calling for everybody to deescalate,” Mohamed Refa'a al-Tahtawi told Gorani. “This escalation is not going to lead anywhere.”
Al-Tahtawi accompanied Prime Minister Hesham Kandil to Gaza Friday, a trip critics saw as an opportunity for press exposure. Al-Tahtawi discounted that, saying that saying Egypt is willing to give Gaza tangible support; but said they are not prepared for any type of military action.
“Humanitarian supply will be sent. Political support will be extended – political support is not empty words. Political support means potential positions and I am telling you, the streets in Egypt are very angry.”
For CNN's complete coverage of the violence in Israel and Gaza click here.