(CNN) — President Joe Biden will deliver remarks on the situation in the Middle East on Friday as Israel says its forces have entered central Rafah, the city in southern Gaza that Biden has warned should not be the target of a major ground offensive.

The president, who returned to the White House from his beach home in Delaware earlier in the morning, has avoided commenting on the situation in Israel for several days. He has not weighed in publicly on an Israeli strike in Rafah that resulted in the deaths of dozens of civilians.

The White House called images from the disaster “heartbreaking” but said the incident had not crossed Biden’s red line for withholding some US weapons shipments to Israel.

Biden will be speaking as negotiations continue to secure the release of hostages in exchange for a temporary ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas. Israel recently issued a new proposal to secure the hostages’ release.

The president told CNN’s Erin Burnett in an interview this month that he would limit some US arms to Israel if the country’s military “go into Rafah.”

But he has remained vague about how he will quantify such a decision, leading to frustrations and a degree of confusion over his stance. Many Democrats, along with foreign leaders who the US counts as allies, say Israel’s actions clearly cross a red line – if not Biden’s, then their own and those of international law.

White House officials have sought this week to explain Biden’s stance, suggesting his barometer for changing policy would be a “major ground invasion” of the city.

A major ground invasion, national security spokesman John Kirby has said, would be obvious should it begin: “Lots of units of tens of thousands of troops or thousands of troops moving in a coordinated set of maneuvers against a wide variety of targets on the ground in a massive way. That’s a major ground operation. Pretty simple.”

While the Middle East is the main foreign policy challenge occupying the president, domestic attention is focused on his predecessor Donald Trump being found guilty in the New York hush money case. It is not clear when and how Biden intends to directly address the verdict.

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