Biden asks Netanyahu to agree to 3-day fighting pause: US media

A media report says US President Joe Biden has urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree to a three-day pause in the fighting in the Gaza Strip.

The US news site Axios issued a report on Tuesday. It cited US and Israeli officials as saying that Biden made the request when the two leaders spoke on the telephone on Monday.

A pause is said to be needed to allow more progress to be made in the effort to secure the release of the hostages being held by Hamas.

The report said the United States, Israel and Qatar have been discussing a proposal regarding the release of the hostages. Qatar is working as a mediator between Hamas and the other parties.

According to the proposal, Hamas would release 10 to 15 hostages and use the three-day pause to verify the identities of all the remaining captives. The group would also provide a list of the names of those being held. Axios said it received this information from a US official.

The report cited US and Israeli officials as saying that Netanyahu told Biden he does not trust Hamas's intentions. The Israeli leader also reportedly said that he does not believe Hamas is ready to agree to the deal.

Netanyahu is reported to have told Biden Israel could lose the international support that it currently has for the operation, if the fighting stops for three days.