WASHINGTON - U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday warned Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant against allowing the conflict with Hamas in Gaza to expand to include Lebanon and Hezbollah.

Blinken "underscored the importance of avoiding further escalation of the conflict and reaching a diplomatic resolution that allows both Israeli and Lebanese families to return to their homes," according to a statement from State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.

Blinken also pressed Gallant to take more steps to protect aid workers in Gaza.

The Israeli defense minister will meet with other U.S. officials during his visit to Washington this week, including Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

Earlier Monday, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters in Luxembourg that the risk of the war spilling over was growing bigger every day.

"I think that, unhappily, we are on the eve of the war expanding," Borrell said.

He also said a cease-fire in Gaza was desperately needed to facilitate the flow of humanitarian aid, saying "delivery of humanitarian assistance inside Gaza has become impossible."

A temporary pier that was built for delivering aid into Gaza via a sea route paused deliveries Monday because of "scheduled maintenance," Pentagon press secretary Major General Pat Ryder told reporters.

Sunday marked the U.S.-built pier's largest delivery day to date, with 720 metric tons of aid moved to the Gaza beach that day. Since the pier operations began on May 17, the U.S. military has delivered more than 6,200 metric tons of aid via the sea route to the Gazan coast for delivery to Palestinians, according to Ryder.

However, aid organizations say corridors intended to funnel that aid from the Gazan shore to Palestinians in need are unsafe and unusable.

Ryder also told reporters Monday that the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike group would "remain briefly" in the Mediterranean Sea before returning home. The aircraft carrier left the U.S. Central Command region after being deployed for more than seven months.

The USS Theodore Roosevelt will leave the Pacific region in the coming days to deploy to the Middle East "to promote regional stability, deter aggression and protect the free flow of commerce in the region," he added.

The top U.S. military officer warned Monday that an Israeli offensive in Lebanon would raise the risk of a broader conflict that draws in Iran to aid Hezbollah.

Israel has been battling Iran-backed Hamas in its offensive in the Gaza Strip for months while also engaging in daily skirmishes with Hezbollah along the Israel-Lebanon border.

Air Force General CQ Brown, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters that Iran would be "more inclined to provide greater support to Hezbollah," describing the militants as having more resources than Hamas.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that the "intense phase" of fighting against Hamas in Gaza would be ending "very soon." But he added that Israel would likely shift troops to the border with Lebanon.

In an interview with Israel's Channel 14, Netanyahu said moving troops north would bolster the country's defensive posture against Hezbollah and allow Israelis who fled the fighting near the Lebanon-Israel border to return home.

He added that while he hoped a diplomatic solution to the conflict with Hezbollah could be found, Israel could "fight on several fronts, and we are also preparing for it."

The war is now in its ninth month with no immediate end in sight. President Joe Biden has outlined a cease-fire that would halt fighting for six weeks and facilitate the release of Hamas-held hostages. Hamas has said any agreement must result in an end to the war, a demand Israel has rejected.

The war was triggered by a shock Hamas attack on Israel on October 7 that killed 1,200 people in Israel and led to the capture of about 250 hostages. Israel's counteroffensive in Gaza has killed more than 37,500 Palestinians, mostly civilians but also thousands of combatants, according to the territory's Health Ministry.