Top Biden adviser meets with Israeli leaders amid differences over the war.

Israel’s defense minister said on Thursday that the war against Hamas “will last more than several months,” signaling determination to carry on with the bombardment of Gaza even as the White House national security adviser arrived in Tel Aviv to discuss a timetable for ending the fighting.

Before meeting with the U.S. national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant repeated Israel’s arguments that destroying Hamas, the armed group that carried out the devastating Oct. 7 attacks in Israel, was essential to Israel’s security and was difficult because Hamas has built an extensive underground infrastructure in Gaza.

“It will require a long period of time — it will last more than several months, but we will win and we will destroy them,” Mr. Gallant said in brief remarks before meeting with Mr. Sullivan.

The comments suggested that Israel’s government was not likely to be swayed by international condemnation of the war’s enormous civilian toll in Gaza. Mr. Sullivan had said before his visit — which will include a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — that one of the topics of discussion with Israeli officials would be “how they are seeing the timetable of this war.”

Gaps between the United States and Israel have widened over Israel’s conduct of its war against Hamas and a postwar settlement for the Gaza Strip.

On Tuesday, President Biden made some of his bluntest criticism yet of Mr. Netanyahu’s government, which he said had no interest in allowing the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. Israel was beginning to lose international support, he added, because of the “indiscriminate bombing” of Gaza.

But the White House appeared to play down Mr. Biden’s comments on Wednesday, with a spokesman, John F. Kirby, saying the president was only expressing concern about rising civilian casualties in the war.

Top Israeli officials were publicly unruffled by Mr. Biden’s remarks, insisting that they would not be deterred from continuing the military onslaught in Gaza until Hamas’s armed wing is destroyed and its leaders are killed. “We are continuing to the end,” Mr. Netanyahu wrote on social media. “It is not even a question.”

Mr. Netanyahu’s government and the Biden administration have mostly sought to paper over their divides since Hamas killed at least 1,200 people in southern Israel on Oct. 7. Israel has responded with more than two months of bombardment and a ground invasion of Gaza that have killed at least 15,000 people, and likely thousands more, according to Gazan health officials, and forced most of the territory’s 2.2 million people to flee their homes.

Amid an international outcry over the toll on Gazans, Mr. Biden has said Israel must do more to protect civilians, but he has been steadfast in supporting its right to respond to the Oct. 7 attack.

The United States and Israel have also differed over who should control Gaza after the war. American officials have said the Palestinian Authority, which has international support, should control the enclave, while Mr. Netanyahu has appeared to rule that out for now.