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Biden and Netanyahu discuss humanitarian pause in Gaza, White House reports

Biden and Netanyahu discuss humanitarian pause in Gaza, White House reports President of the United States Joe Biden (Photo: Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

President of the United States Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the possibility of humanitarian pauses in the war between Israel and Hamas, according to the head of the White House National Security Council, John Kirby.

According to him, the U.S. believes that such pauses will help civilians reach safer places in Gaza, ensure the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in need, and facilitate the release of hostages.

"We consider ourselves at the beginning of this conversation, not at the end of it, so you can expect that we’re going to continue to advocate for temporary localized pauses," Kirby said, adding that the U.S., as before, does not support a more permanent ceasefire because such a step would be beneficial to Hamas.

Responding to questions about the effectiveness of U.S. diplomacy given that both Israel and U.S. allies in the region have refused to support humanitarian pauses, Kirby rejected this assumption and noted that Israel had initially refused to provide any assistance to the Gaza Strip. Later, after significant pressure from the U.S., it agreed to provide aid through Egypt.

Kirby also mentions that Biden emphasized the need to "hold extremist settlers accountable" for violence on the West Bank while "reducing threats from terrorist groups that are operating there."

IDF ground operation in Gaza

On October 7, Hamas militants launched a massive incursion into Israel. During the attack, they killed and kidnapped both military and civilian residents. Subsequently, Israel announced the start of Operation Iron Swords and began regularly targeting objectives in the Gaza Strip.

On October 27, the Israeli army began intensively attacking Gaza. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) also announced the expansion of the ground operation.

On October 31, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the start of the third phase of the military operation against the Hamas group. It involves expanding the ground penetration into the Gaza Strip.