Israel-Gaza conflict: De-escalate tensions with Hamas today, Biden tells Netanyahu

US President Joe Biden has told Israel’s prime minister he expects to see a significant de-escalation in its conflict with Hamas today.

In what will be seen as Biden’s toughest public pressure on the US ally so far, the White House said the president asked Mr Netanyahu in a telephone call to move toward “the path to a ceasefire”.

Pressure has been mounting on Biden too, as the death toll in the conflict has now topped 200.

However, there remains little sign of a ceasefire between Israel and Gaza after more than a week of cross-border attacks.

After Israeli’s N12 TV news channel said fighting could end on Thursday morning, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, Ezzat El-Reshiq, said there had been “no agreement reached over specific timings for a ceasefire”.

Since the conflict began more than a week ago, almost 450 buildings in the Gaza Strip have been destroyed or badly damaged, including six hospitals and nine primary care health centres, the UN’s humanitarian agency said.

Almost 50,000 displaced people have gone to UN-run schools.

Israel’s military said 50 rockets were fired overnight from Gaza, though there were no reports of damage or injuries.

Hamas began firing rockets nine days ago in retaliation for what it said were Israeli rights abuses against Palestinians in Jerusalem during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Israel said more than 3,450 rockets had been directed towards it from Gaza, with some falling short or being shot down by its Iron Dome air defences

It estimates it has killed about 160 militants.

Medical officials in Gaza said 217 Palestinians had been killed, including 63 children, and more than 1,400 wounded since the fighting began on 10 May.

Israeli authorities said 12 people have been killed in Israel, including two children.

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