US National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said in his daily press briefing that the call for a ceasefire in the conflict between Israel and Hamas, “at this point, will only benefit Hamas.”
It comes as Israel steps up its bombing of targets in the Gaza Strip ahead of an expected ground offensive against the militants.
“We want all protection measures for civilians and stopping an operation is a tool and a tactic to achieve this in temporary times. So that is not the same as saying a ceasefire.” Again, we now believe that a ceasefire will benefit Hamas,” the official said.
The United Nations, the United States and Canada on Tuesday called for a humanitarian pause in the war between Israel and Hamas to allow the safe delivery of aid to civilians affected by a lack of food, water, medicine and electricity in the enclave. surrounded by Israel.
Kirby assured that the United States is implementing “careful contingency planning” to evacuate Americans from the Middle East if the war between Israel and Hamas expands into a wide-ranging conflict in the region.
Although he emphasized that there are currently “no active efforts” to evacuate Americans from the region beyond the charter flights that the US government initiated earlier this month from Israel.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden and Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman on Tuesday discussed efforts to prevent the conflict from expanding, the White House said in a statement.
“The two leaders agreed to make broader diplomatic efforts to maintain stability in the entire region and prevent the conflict from expanding,” the statement added.
The White House assured that Biden and the Saudi crown prince welcomed the delivery of humanitarian aid from Egypt to Gaza and acknowledged that “more is needed for civilians” to maintain access to food , water and medical aid.
“Both welcome ongoing efforts to secure the release of hostages held by Hamas and call for their immediate release,” the White House added.
Biden and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said they believed the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, which left more than 1,400 dead, was motivated in part to disrupt a possible normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia.