US President Joe Biden and administration officials have encouraged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top Israeli officials to wind down the bombardment of Gaza, a person with knowledge of the discussions is quoted as saying by multiple US media outlets, as the Israeli and Palestinian death tolls mounts and pressure grows on Biden to move more forcefully to stop the fighting.
Top Biden administration officials have underscored to the Israelis yesterday and today that time is not on their side in terms of international objections to nine days of Israeli airstrikes and Hamas rockets, and that it is in their interest to wind down the operations soon, AP quotes the official as saying, adding that they are not authorized to comment publicly on the private talks and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The account shows Biden administration officials going further privately in messaging to Netanyahu than they have previously revealed. A White House readout of a Biden call to Netanyahu yesterday said Biden had expressed support for a ceasefire, but said nothing about the US urging Israel to bring fighting to a close.
Meanwhile, The New York Times — citing two people familiar with yesterday’s phone call between the two — similarly reports that Biden has warned Netanyahu that he won’t be able to hold off international pressure for much longer.