Biden and Netanyahu
Biden and NetanyahuPhoto: GPO

US President Joe Biden spoke on Saturday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

According to a statement from the White House, “The leaders discussed Israel’s military campaign in Gaza to include its objectives and phasing. The President emphasized the critical need to protect the civilian population including those supporting the humanitarian aid operation, and the importance of allowing civilians to move safely away from areas of ongoing fighting.”

“The leaders discussed the importance of securing the release of all remaining hostages. They agreed to remain in regular consultation both directly and through their respective national security teams,” added the statement.

The Prime Minister’s Office also issued a statement on the conversation which said, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke this evening with US President Joe Biden and expressed his appreciation for the US position at the UN Security Council.”

“The Prime Minister made it clear that Israel would continue the war until all of its goals have been achieved,” it added.

Biden earlier on Saturday told reporters in Washington, DC, that he had a “long conversation” with Netanyahu, declining to comment on the content of the “private conversation.”

“I didn’t ask for a ceasefire,” he added in response to a journalist’s question.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday that Biden urged Netanyahu to halt a pre-emptive strike against Hezbollah forces in Lebanon, just after Hamas launched its savage attack on Israel.

The report claimed that Biden warned that a pre-emptive strike on Hezbollah "could spark a wider regional war."

According to The Wall Street Journal, Israel had intelligence that Hezbollah terrorists were preparing to cross the border as part of a multipronged attack, but the US deemed Israel's intelligence "unreliable."

Warplanes in the air awaiting orders were called off their task, the report claimed, quoting "people familiar with the call," due to Biden's pressure.

The Prime Minister's Office responded: "This report is incorrect."

"Already on the first day of the war, Prime Minister Netanyahu decided that Israel will act first of all to achieve a decisive victory in the south, while deterring attacks in the north. This policy was adopted by the Cabinet."