WATCH LIVE: White House holds news briefing as U.S. seeks to free hostages taken by Hamas


White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will hold a news briefing on Monday as the U.S. seeks to free hostages taken by Hamas.

The event is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. ET. Watch in the player above.

Israel ramped up its airstrikes Monday in Gaza, where the death toll is rising rapidly, and the United States advised Israel to delay an expected ground invasion to allow more time to negotiate the release of hostages taken by Hamas militants.

Israel is widely expected to launch a ground offensive in Gaza following Hamas’ brutal Oct. 7 rampage into southern Israeli communities. Tanks and troops have been massed at the Gaza border, and Israel says it has stepped up airstrikes in order to reduce the risk to troops in the next stages.

The U.S. has advised Israeli officials that delaying the expected ground offensive would give Washington more time to work with regional mediators on securing the release of people captured by Hamas during its deadly incursion, according to a U.S. official.

The official, who requested anonymity to discuss the private discussions, said it was unclear how much the argument will “move the needle” on Israeli thinking. Hamas released an American woman and her teenage daughter last week in what it said was a humanitarian gesture mediated by Qatar.

More than 1,400 people in Israel have been killed — mostly civilians slain during the initial Hamas attack. At least 222 people were captured and dragged back to Gaza, including foreigners, the military said Monday, updating a previous figure.

More than 5,000 Palestinians, including some 2,000 minors and around 1,100 women, have been killed, the Hamas-run Health Ministry said Monday. That includes the disputed toll from an explosion at a hospital last week. The toll has climbed more rapidly in recent days, with the ministry reporting 436 additional deaths in just the last 24 hours.

This is the deadliest by far of five wars fought between Israel and Hamas in less than 15 years.

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