United States President Joe Biden. REUTERS./

 – U.S. President Joe Biden spoke on Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and “reiterated his clear position” on a possible invasion of the Gaza border city of Rafah, the White House said.

A statement issued by the White House did not give more details of that part of the conversation. Washington has said that it could not support a Rafah operation without an appropriate and credible humanitarian plan.

Speaking earlier, White House national security spokesperson John Kirby said Israel had agreed to listen to U.S. concerns and thoughts before it launches an invasion.

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The two leaders last spoke on April 13, after Iran launched missile and drone strikes against Israel.

“The President reaffirmed his ironclad commitment to Israel’s security,” the statement said.

The two leaders reviewed talks designed to secure the release of some of the hostages held since the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attackcoupled with an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. They also discussed an increased pace of aid deliveries, including preparations to open new crossings into Gaza.

“The President stressed the need for this progress to be sustained and enhanced in full coordination with humanitarian organizations,” the statement said.

(Reporting by Jarrett Renshaw and Steve Holland in Washington; Writing by David Ljunggren; Editing by Matthew Lewis and Mark Porter)

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