Joe Biden takes tougher line in phone call with Benjamin Netanyahu, but Israel and Hamas deny truce is imminent

Joe Biden has told Benjamin Netanyahu that he expects “a significant de-escalation today on the path to a ceasefire” between Israel and militants in Gaza, in a notable toughening of the US president’s language on the conflict.

The White House said that in a phone call on Wednesday, “the two leaders had a detailed discussion on the state of events in Gaza, Israel’s progress in degrading the capabilities of Hamas and other terrorist elements, and ongoing diplomatic efforts by regional governments and the United States.”

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