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The US has quietly told Israel it can't publicly support its aggression in Gaza for much longer, report says

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Biden Netanayhu
A 2010 photo of then-Vice President Joe Biden with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Baz Ratner/Getty Images
  • The US told Israel it expected the offensive on Gaza to wind down soon, Axios reported.

  • The top US diplomat reportedly told his Israeli counterpart the US's public support had its limits.

  • Joe Biden recently urged de-escalation with Benjamin Netanyahu, who has vowed to keep fighting.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The US has told Israel that it can't publicly support it in its offensive in Gaza for much longer, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was "determined" to continue fighting, Axios reported.

An unnamed Israeli source told the outlet that in a Wednesday call between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and his Israeli counterpart, Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, Blinken said the US expected Israel to wind down its military operations soon.

The behind-the-scenes call came shortly after President Joe Biden spoke with Netanyahu, Axios reported.

Biden had said he expected a "significant de-escalation" and a move toward a cease-fire by the end of the day, according to a White House readout.

After that call, Netanyahu nonetheless said publicly that while he appreciated US support, he was "determined to continue this operation until its aim is met."

It is unclear exactly how long that is expected to take. On Tuesday, he had told officials that fighting could stop within several days, the Israeli news website Ynet reported.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, a senior official for Hamas - the Gaza-based militant group fighting Israel - said he expected a cease-fire "within a day or two."

Antony Blinken
Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Alex Edelman-Pool/Getty Images

The call between Blinken and Ashkenazi, reported by Axios, suggests that behind the scenes the Biden administration is feeling the increasing pressure - both from the international community and within parts of Biden's Democratic Party - to join international calls for a cease-fire.

He had "expressed support for a cease-fire" in an earlier call with Netanyahu on Monday, the White House said. But the US went on to block a joint effort led by France, Jordan, and Egypt to that end at the UN Security Council.

The Biden administration has instead been pursuing what the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, described at a White House press briefing Tuesday as "quiet, intensive diplomacy."

The conflict is in its second week, with Israel launching airstrikes into Gaza and with Gaza militants firing rockets toward Israel every day since May 10.

Most of those injured and killed have been in Gaza, with Israel's Iron Dome missile-defense system intercepting much of the incoming barrage. A total of 219 people in Gaza have been reported dead, at least 63 of whom were children, the BBC reported. Ten people, also including children, have been killed in Israel, the BBC said.

Israeli airstrikes and artillery have reduced several buildings and crucial infrastructure to rubble in operations the Israel Defense Forces has said were targeting Hamas militants.

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