President Biden expressed support for a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas on Monday during a call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel.
In a readout of Mr. Biden’s call, White House officials said the president “expressed his support for a cease-fire and discussed U.S. engagement with Egypt and other partners towards that end.”
The statement fell short of an immediate demand for an end to Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza, which has been met with rocket fire by Hamas from Gaza into Israel. The White House also said Mr. Biden “reiterated his firm support for Israel’s right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks.”
The Biden administration had previously avoided the use of the term “cease-fire,” with top officials like Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken talking instead about the need for a “sustainable calm” and others talking about the need for “restraint.”
letter led by Senator Jon Ossoff of Georgia on Sunday calling for “an immediate cease-fire.”
On Monday, the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, told reporters that the administration would not reveal all the details of Mr. Biden’s communications with leaders in the conflict. “Our approach is through quiet, intensive diplomacy,” she said. “That is how we feel we can be most effective.”