US President Joe Biden spoke on Thursday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the developments in Gaza.
In a statement, the White House said that during the conversation, “The President expressed his deep concern for the hostages that remain in Gaza. He reiterated that the ICRC must be permitted to access remaining hostages held by Hamas terrorists. He noted that it was Hamas’ refusal to release young women civilian hostages that led to a breakdown in the humanitarian pause.”
The two leaders “agreed to remain deeply engaged to pursue every possible opportunity to free the remaining hostages,” the statement added.
Biden also “underscored the importance of the continuous and sustained flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza. He welcomed the recent Israeli decision to ensure that fuel levels will meet requisite needs, but stressed that much more assistance was urgently required across the board,” said the White House.
“The President emphasized the critical need to protect civilians and to separate the civilian population from Hamas including through corridors that allow people to move safely from defined areas of hostilities,” the statement continued.
“President Biden reiterated his concern about extremist violence committed against Palestinians and the need to increase stability in the West Bank.”
“The President and the Prime Minister agreed to remain in regular consultation both directly and through their respective national security teams,” the statement concluded.
Israel announced last Friday the renewal of fighting in Gaza, after the Hamas terror organization violated the terms of the operational pause, which allowed for the release of some 100 hostages held by Hamas.
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby later said that Hamas is to blame for the end of the ceasefire.
"We continue to work with Israel, Egypt and Qatar on efforts to restore the humanitarian pause in Gaza. But let’s be clear about this: It's because of Hamas that this pause ended. The onus is on Hamas," Kirby said in a briefing.
Kirby added that Hamas failed to produce a list of hostages that could have helped extend the pause.