Latest News 15-01-2024 12:06 8 Views

White House urges Israel to scale back ground operations in Gaza as war hits 100 days: ‘It’s the right time’

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The White House is calling on Israel to scale back its military offensive in the Gaza Strip as the country’s war with Hamas in Gaza crossed the 100-day milestone.

On Sunday, the official 100th day of the conflict, U.S. officials said 'it’s the right time' for Israel to transition to 'low-intensity operations' in Gaza. The comment was met with Israeli leaders again vowing to continue with their ground operation through the Gaza Strip to eradicate the ruling Hamas militant group.

During a public interview on Sunday, White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said the U.S. has been speaking to Israel 'about a transition to low-intensity operations' in Gaza.

'We believe it’s the right time for that transition. And we’re talking to them about doing that,' he added.

Kirby credited Israel with having taken some 'precursory steps' toward scaling down its offensive, but said there was more to do.

'We’re not saying let your foot up off the gas completely and don’t keep going after Hamas,' he continued. 'It’s just that we believe the time is coming here very, very soon for a transition to this lower intensity phase.'

In a short and sure response, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant vowed Sunday that Israel would continue its war against Hamas.

'It’s been 100 days, yet we will not stop until we win,' he said.

The war in Gaza, launched by Israel after Hamas-led forces carried out an unprecedented terror attack on Israeli soil on Oct. 7, has killed nearly 24,000 Palestinians and displaced approximately 85% of the territory’s 2.3 million residents. Israel faces a world court hearing over genocide allegations stemming from the deaths.

Hamas’ initial terror attack killed some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took 250 others hostage. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to continue fighting until Hamas is destroyed and the remaining 100+ hostages still in captivity are freed.

Separately, tens of thousands of people in Europe and the Middle East took to the streets Sunday to mark the 100th day of the war. These included opposing demonstrations with some groups demanding the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas or and others calling for a cease-fire in Gaza.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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