US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed the possibility of tactical pauses in strikes on the Gaza Strip and the possible release of hostages, White House spokesman John Kirby said, as quoted by Reuters.
Kirby said more Americans are expected to leave Gaza today. Biden and Netanyahu also discussed the situation in the West Bank, the spokesman said.
The US does not yet consider a general armistice appropriate at this time, Kirby noted. Washington will continue talks with Israel about humanitarian breaks in Gaza, he added, specifying that Biden and Netanyahu agreed to talk again in the coming days.
“We see that more humanitarian aid is entering Gaza, but it is far from enough. For the last 24 hours, less than 30 aid trucks have entered there,” the spokesman said.
Kirby also reported that Israel has assured Washington that the requested automatic weapons will only go to national police units, BTA adds.
US media reported earlier that US manufacturers had received three requests for semi-automatic and automatic weapons worth $34 million, but their sale required State Department approval as well as notification to Congress. Israel says the weapons will be used by the national police, but there are indications they could be distributed to civilians, sources familiar with the Israeli request told The New York Times.