United States Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday called for an “immediate ceasefire” in Gaza to allow more humanitarian aid into the besieged territory and the release of hostages held by Palestinian militant group Hamas.

“Given the immense scale of suffering in Gaza, there must be an immediate ceasefire for at least the next six weeks, which is what is currently on the table,” Harris said in a social media post. “This will get the hostages out and get a significant amount of aid in.”

Harris said the United States should do more to increase the supply of aid to Gaza, including opening new border crossings and committing not to impose “unnecessary restrictions”.

“People in Gaza are starving,” Al Jazeera quoted her as saying during an address on Sunday. “The conditions are inhumane and our common humanity compels us to act.”

Referring to a massacre on Thursday in which more than 100 Palestinians were killed as they gathered to access food aid in Gaza city, Harris said that “too many innocent Palestinians have been killed” while expressing her solidarity with the victims of “that horrific tragedy”.

The Israeli military said on Saturday that it will investigate the deaths of Palestinians who had queued for aid in Gaza city, Reuters reported. This came a day after US National Security Spokesperson John Kirby told reporters that his country had asked Israel to investigate the incident.

Harris also urged Hamas to accept the terms of the ceasefire deal so that the hostages can reunite with their families and more aid and relief can reach Palestinians in Gaza.

On Saturday, the United States carried out its first airdrop of humanitarian aid into Gaza, even as Israel continues to block access to the territory. The US forces dropped more than 38,000 meals along the coastline of Gaza, according to reports.

The war, which started after Hamas’ incursion into southern Israel on October 7, has continued for nearly five months. Hamas had killed 1,200 people in the attack and taken more than 200 persons hostage. Some of the hostages were released in November as part of a brief ceasefire agreement in exchange for Palestinians imprisoned by Israel and humanitarian aid.

Israel’s war on Gaza has led to more than 30,000 deaths in the besieged territory.