Israel has rebuffed U.S Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s call for a “humanitarian pause” in Gaza.

Mr Blinken said he had discussed the idea with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other officials during their talks in Tel Aviv.

In a TV statement minutes later, Mr Netanyahu said Israel rejected “a temporary ceasefire that does not include the release of our hostages”.

He said that Israel was “continuing with all our force” against Hamas.

US diplomatic push came as Israel pressed its offensive against Hamas, with commanders saying that their forces had encircled Gaza City and were engaged in a “complex urban fight”.

Israel’s offensive – involving air strikes and ground forces was launched in the aftermath of the attack on 7 September during which Hamas fighters killed 1,400 people in Israel and took more than 240 hostages.

Israel’s revenge attacks have killed at least 9,200 people in Gaza since then, according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

Mr Blinken said that the US believed efforts to protect Palestinian civilians and increase aid into Gaza “would be facilitated by humanitarian pauses”.

Credit: BBC.