Israel will allow daily four-hour humanitarian pauses for civilians to flee from the north of the Gaza Strip to the south, the U.S. government has said.

Israel's military has been intensifying its ground invasion of Gaza as part of its attempt to root out the Palestinian militant group Hamas after it committed a deadly cross-border attack on Oct. 7, in which hundreds of civilians were taken as hostages.

Israel will notify civilians three hours prior to the pauses, and two humanitarian corridors will be created, White House national security spokesman John Kirby told an online press conference on Thursday.

Palestinians flee south as Israeli military incursions and airstrikes continue to ravage northern areas of the Gaza Strip on Nov. 9, 2023. (Getty/Kyodo)

The move is also aimed at allowing for more aid to be brought into the enclave and prompting Hamas to release hostages.

The Israeli military reportedly said the temporary pauses are "tactical" and "localized," as Palestinian civilian casualties mount amid continued urban incursions and airstrikes on Gaza by Israel.

It is unclear whether Hamas, which effectively controls the densely populated enclave, will comply with the pauses or release any hostages.

The pauses "will need to be coordinated with the United Nations" and be agreed upon by all sides, said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the world body's chief Antonio Guterres at a press conference.

In response to the White House's comments, the office of Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, reiterated there would be no cease-fire until the hostages were released, while also demanding that civilians in northern Gaza evacuate to the south.

Kirby called the pauses a "step in the right direction," and expressed hope that the temporary cessation measures continue for as long as necessary.

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