JERUSALEM (AP) — The White House said Sunday that “it's the right time” for Israel to scale back its military offensive in the Gaza Strip, as Israeli leaders again vowed to press ahead with their operation against the territory's ruling Hamas militant group.
The comments exposed the growing differences between the close allies on the 100th day of the war.
Also Sunday, Israeli warplanes struck targets in Lebanon following a Hezbollah missile attack that killed two Israeli civilians — an older woman and her adult son — in northern Israel. The exchange of fire underscored concerns that the Gaza violence could trigger wider fighting across the region.
The war in Gaza, launched by Israel in response to the unprecedented Oct. 7 attack by Hamas, has killed nearly 24,000 Palestinians, devastated vast swaths of Gaza, driven around 85% of the territory's 2.3 million residents from their homes and pushed a quarter of the population into starvation.
Speaking on CBS, White House National Security Council spokesman 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 said on “Face the Nation.”
Israel launched the offensive after the Hamas attack killed some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took 250 others hostage. Prime Minister Benjamin…