U.S. President Joe Biden's administration is treading a tightrope on Israel, with Washington firmly backing its ally while urging caution and calling for pauses in the fighting to get aid into Gaza.

The 80-year-old has had to balance uncompromising support for Israel's right to defend itself since the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks, with concern over the plight of civilians in Gaza and the risks of a wider war.

That balancing act is becoming tougher by the day, with reports that Washington is concerned about Israel's plan of action for a Gaza invasion, and global calls for a cease-fire mounting as Israel bombards the territory.