Israel has said it has agreed to limited pauses in fighting in the Gaza Strip so civilians can flee its war with Hamas, a description that fell short of what the U.S. hailed as a significant agreement for daily, four-hour halts.

Israel will enact "tactical local pauses for humanitarian aid, which are limited in time and area,” Israeli army spokesperson Richard Hecht said. He played down the importance of the announcement as Israel presses ahead with a campaign against Hamas in the wake of the group’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

Hours before, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Israel had agreed to daily, four-hour pauses that would start the same day. U.S. officials hailed the move as a major development, with one senior administration official saying it was the result of meeting last week between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.