A White House spokeswoman said on Wednesday that the Israeli government had agreed to try to reschedule a visit by a group of officials whose trip to Washington to discuss a possible assault on a key southern city in Gaza was scrapped over the U.S. decision not to veto a U.N. resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire.

President Biden had asked Israel to send a delegation to Washington to discuss alternatives to a ground offensive in Rafah, the southern Gaza city where more than a million people have sought refuge. But Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, called off the delegation’s trip at the last minute after being angered by the U.S. decision to abstain from a vote on the resolution at the U.N. Security Council on Monday.

“The prime minister’s office said that they want to reschedule this meeting so that we can talk about the Rafah operations,” the White House press secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre, told reporters on Wednesday. “We welcome that. And we’re going to work with their teams to make sure that happens.”

John F. Kirby, a White House spokesman, added on Thursday that the administration was working with the prime minister’s office and other Israeli officials to finalize a date for the rescheduled meeting. “We’re hoping that this meeting can be scheduled in person here in Washington as was the original plan,” he told reporters.

There was no immediate confirmation of a desire to reschedule from Mr. Netanyahu’s office, which, just hours before Ms. Jean-Pierre’s comments, had issued a statement denying reports that a meeting was back on. “Contrary to reports, the prime minister didn’t approve the departure of the delegation to Washington,” the statement said.

On three prior occasions, the United States had vetoed a cease-fire resolution. But by abstaining on Monday, it allowed the resolution, which was less strongly worded than previous ones and called for a cease-fire for the holy month of Ramadan, to pass.


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