US President Joe Biden and Israel s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. AFP
"The two leaders discussed the possibility of tactical pauses to provide civilians with opportunities to safely depart from areas of ongoing war, to ensure assistance is reaching civilians in need, and to enable potential captives releases," the White House said in a statement.
Biden did not reach an agreement with Netanyahu on the humanitarian pause, but agreed to continue talks in the coming days.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the US would “continue to advocate for temporary, localized pauses in the fighting.”
The Palestinian death toll in the Israeli war on Gaza has surpassed 10,000, including more than 4,100 children, 2,640 women, and 600 elderly, while injuring more than 24,000, according to the Palestanian Health Ministry in Gaza.
Asked whether the toll gave the US pause for its staunch support for Israel, Kirby said, “I think we all need to remember who they’re fighting,” but the US having “frank” conversations with Israelis about trying to reduce the civilian death toll.
Biden and Netanyahu also discussed the situation in the West Bank, Kirby said.