Israel has “significantly refined” its military campaign against Hamas following U.S. pressure to curb Palestinian civilian casualties in Gaza, according to a senior U.S. official.
“The overall scale of their campaign [is expected to undergo] a decrease in what we’ve seen and more of a tactical focus on the ground campaign as they’re working to clear out some specific areas where there are tunnel complexes and things,” a senior administration official told reporters Friday evening. “So, that’s what we anticipate seeing over the next week.”
That forecast points to a new phase in the military operation and an expansion of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip, after weeks of bombardment. The shift could also portend another step toward the mass release of the hostages seized by Hamas in the Oct. 7 terrorist attack, with President Joe Biden’s administration seeking “a very significant pause in the conflict” to enable their departure.
“So there’s an active process going on here with multiple lines of effort, including indirect engagement to try to find a framework to get the hostages out of Gaza,” the senior administration official said. “It would take a very significant pause in the conflict in the fighting to be able to do this. It is something that is under a very serious and active discussion, but there is no agreement as of yet to actually get this done.” (Read more from “Israel to ‘Decrease’ Military Campaign as U.S. Seeks ‘Very Significant Pause’ in War” HERE)
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