On Monday, the Israeli military spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, said in an interview with The New York Times that the war had entered a new phase, with Israel drawing down its troops, focusing on southern regions of Gaza and decreasing the number of airstrikes. Hours earlier, Yoav Gallant, the defense minister, had told The Wall Street Journal that Israel would soon transition from “intense maneuvering” toward “different types of special operations.”

Then, in his daily Hebrew-language press briefing on Monday night, Admiral Hagari responded to a question about his interview with The Times by saying that the goal of dismantling Hamas remained in place, and that the “semantics” of whether the war had entered a new phase “doesn’t serve the Israeli public.”

Separately, the Israeli news media reported that Mr. Gallant had told fellow right-wing lawmakers, in a closed-door meeting, that the war would continue “for many more months,” and for that to happen, Israel needed a “margin for international maneuver.” Mr. Gallant’s office confirmed the remarks.

The comments to international news media also appeared to be an effort to address calls from the United States, Israel’s strongest ally, to ease the fighting, and they came hours before the U.S. secretary of state, Antony J. Blinken, landed in Tel Aviv for discussions about the war. The Biden administration has been under pressure to scale back its support for Israel, and Mr. Blinken has previously called on Israel to use more precision in its strikes on Gaza.

Writing in Israel Hayom, a right-wing daily newspaper, Yoav Limor, a military commentator, said: “The Israeli government locked itself into conflicting commitments: the commitments that it made to the Israeli public, saying there would be no time limit and the war would continue for as long as necessary until victory; and the commitments it made to the world, first and foremost to the administration in Washington, saying that the war was now transitioning to a new, lower-intensity stage of the war.”

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