President Joe Biden told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he expects “a significant de-escalation today” as conflict between the country and militants in Gaza continues.
The call marked the president’s third this week amid increased Israel-Gaza tensions. The violence has moved into day 10 and while the White House has refrained from giving much information on de-escalation efforts publicly, it has said its pushing “quiet and intensive” diplomacy.
Monday’s call between the two leaders marked the first time Biden expressed support for a ceasefire, although he has not outright called for one. The president’s latest call with Netanyahu suggests he is now taking a firmer approach, according to a press release from the White House detailing the discussion.
“President Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu today,” the White House wrote Wednesday. “The two leaders had a detailed discussion on the state of events in Gaza, Israel’s progress in degrading the capabilities of Hamas and other terrorist elements, and ongoing diplomatic efforts by regional governments and the United States.”
“The President conveyed to the Prime Minister that he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire,” the statement added. (RELATED: Biden Calls Netanyahu, Declares Israel Has His ‘Unwavering Support’)
Netanyahu said Monday that strikes against Hamas will continue. White House principal deputy secretary Karine Jean-Pierre didn’t directly respond when reporters asked if Netanyahu agreed with Biden’s de-escalation comments, according to a pool report.