US Vice President Joe Biden (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu give joint statements to press in the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem on March 9, 2016. – Biden implicitly criticised Palestinian leaders for not condemning attacks against Israelis, as an upsurge in violence marred his visit. InternationalIndiaAfricaMOSCOW (Sputnik) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US President Joe Biden over the weekend that Israel had to launch a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip, an American news agency reported on Monday. “We have to go in. We can’t negotiate now,” Netanyahu was quoted as saying during a phone call with Biden on Sunday. Israel formally declared a state of war on Sunday, a day after Hamas, a Palestinian group that controls the exclave of Gaza, launched rocket strikes and sent its fighters into Israeli territory. Some 300,000 Israeli reservists have been called to arms as part of preparations for the offensive. Israeli and American sources familiar with the call told the media that Netanyahu wanted the offensive to “restore deterrence.” He reportedly said that the Jewish state had no choice but to respond with force to avoid looking weak. WorldUkrainian MANPADS vs US Destroyers: How Israel-Hamas War May Spiral Into Broader Conflict8 October, 19:35 GMTThe same sources said Biden did not try to press Netanyahu or convince him not to go through with this plan. He also raised the issue of Israeli hostages in Gaza and asked Netanyahu about the possibility of Israel opening a second front along the border with Lebanon.