TEL AVIV—The Biden administration and Middle East governments are stepping up pressure on Israel to stop fighting with the militant group Hamas, as Israeli officials assess the progress of a 10-day military campaign in the Gaza Strip.
President Biden has so far stopped short of calling for an immediate cease-fire, but on Wednesday told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a phone call that “he expected a significant de-escalation today on the path to a cease-fire,” the White House said.
It was the U.S. president’s fourth call with Mr. Netanyahu over the past week, the White House said.
Israel has resisted international calls to halt the fighting but has signaled openness as it works its way through its list of Hamas targets. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that Israel is seeking a cease-fire in keeping with its military objectives.
“We don’t want just a tactical end. We want to ensure the continual safety, for as long as period as we can, of our citizens,” Mr. Netanyahu told a closed meeting of 70 ambassadors, according to a person in the room.