Israel has agreed to daily four-hour pauses in northern Gaza to let civilians flee, the White House has said, even as President Joe Biden said there was no chance of a full ceasefire.
Biden has been pressing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for longer breaks in the fighting after more than a month of war on Gaza.
Israeli troops and Hamas are now locked in heavy, close-quarters fighting in Gaza City in the north of Gaza.
"Israel will begin to implement four-hour pauses in areas of northern Gaza each day, with an announcement to be made three hours beforehand," National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby told reporters.
"We've been told by the Israelis that there will be no military operations in these areas over the duration of the pause (and) that this process is starting today."
Mounting calls for a ceasefire
As Israeli aerial bombing and ground offensive killed more than 10,500 Palestinians, international calls for a ceasefire have mounted, as have protests, including one at the weekend which targeted the White House.
However, Biden ruled out a longer truce for now.
"None. No possibility," Biden told reporters as he left the White House for a trip to Illinois when asked about the chances of a ceasefire.
He later confirmed that in a call with Netanayhu that "I’ve asked for a pause longer than three days".
When asked if he was frustrated with Netanyahu, he said, "it’s taken a little longer than I hoped."
Biden did not mention the four-hour pauses that the White House announced.
Washington has also been publicly calling on the Israeli military to obey the "laws of war" and avoid civilian casualties, while privately pushing Israel to scale back its offensive and to develop a plan for what comes next.
Israel has pressed on and has encircled northern Gaza in recent days. It said on Thursday it had fought a 10-hour battle that toppled one of the Palestinian group's strongholds.
The army said 50,000 people had fled their homes in the main battle zone of northern Gaza on Wednesday, a sharp increase in numbers from earlier this week, adding to the more than 1.5 million people already seeking safety in the south of the coastal enclave.