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US President Joe Biden on Thursday said there was “no possibility” of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
The leader is facing domestic and global calls to pressure Israel into agreeing to a ceasefire with Hamas, but his administration has not been open to the option, despite a growing civilian death toll.
In response to a reporter outside the White House who asked about the chances of a Gaza ceasefire, Mr Biden replied: “None. No possibility.”
However, the US and Israel on Thursday announced that there will be daily four-hour “pauses” for civilians to flee areas of fighting in Gaza.
On October 7, Hamas conducted a series of attacks on Israeli soil which killed at least 1,400 people.
An estimated 240 people are now being held hostage by militant groups in Gaza.
Israel's military has conducted bombardment and ground incursions into the Palestinian enclave in the weeks since. Local authorities say at least 10,800 people have been killed. Aid agencies say Gaza has careened into a humanitarian crisis amid a blockade of water, food and fuel.
Mass demonstrations have taken place in the US and globally demanding a cessation to hostilities.
International organisations and the UN have called for a ceasefire.
“The parties to the conflict – and, indeed, the international community – face an immediate and fundamental responsibility: to stop this inhuman collective suffering and dramatically expand humanitarian aid to Gaza,” UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said on Monday.
The Biden administration believes that a ceasefire would allow Hamas militants to regroup and prepare for new attacks on Israel.
Washington has instead advocated “humanitarian pauses” for aid deliveries, evacuations of foreign citizens, safe movement of civilians and potential hostage handovers.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected the idea and insisted that the hostages be freed.