White House spokesman John Kirby said that US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed on Monday the possibility of a tactical cessation of fighting in Gaza for humanitarian reasons and the possibility of releasing detainees.
Kirby added that the US and Israeli governments will continue to communicate to achieve such potential temporary truces and that Biden and Netanyahu agreed to continue talks in the coming days.
“You can expect that we will continue to call for temporary periods of and specific pauses in fighting; We consider ourselves to be at the beginning of these talks, not at the end,” Kirby told reporters.
He stated that these talks came at a time when more Americans are expected to leave Gaza on Monday and aid will continue to enter the Strip.
Biden and Netanyahu also discussed the situation in the West Bank.
“We know we have to get more trucks in; It’s still just a trickle… More people need to be taken out… It’s still just a trickle,” he said.
The White House said that less than 30 aid trucks had entered Gaza during the past 24 hours.
The White House asserts that a general ceasefire wouldn’t be an appropriate step, and is pushing for shorter pauses in fighting to achieve specific humanitarian goals.
For his part, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres announced on Monday that “the United Nations and its partners have launched a humanitarian aid appeal worth $1.2 billion for 2.7 million Palestinians”.
Guterres added, during a press conference held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City, USA, “The protection of civilians must be of utmost importance”.
He stressed that “Gaza has become a cemetery for children, where hundreds of girls and boys are killed or injured every day”.
He stressed that “the catastrophe that is unfolding now makes the need for a humanitarian ceasefire more urgent with every passing hour”.
The UN Secretary-General also expressed his deep concern about “clear violations of international law in Gaza”.
The UN official explained, “The United Nations and its partners launched a humanitarian appeal worth $1.2 billion to help 2.7 million people, including all residents of Gaza, and 500,000 people in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem”.
He stressed that “the Rafah border crossing alone isn’t equipped with the necessary capabilities for relief trucks to pass on the required scale”.
Guterres stressed the need to ensure unhindered access of supplies to all Gazans in need and to end the use of civilians as human shields.
He concluded his speech by saying, “None of these calls should be conditional on the other”.