President Biden on Thursday admonished Israel in some of his strongest terms yet over its response to the Hamas terrorist attacks last October.
“I’m of the view, as you know, that the conduct of the response in Gaza Strip has been over the top,” Biden said in remarks from the White House.
He noted that he had pressed Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi — who he mistakenly called the “president of Mexico” — to open the gates to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza and had done the same with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“I’ve been pushing really hard, really hard to get humanitarian assistance into Gaza,” Biden said. “There are a lot of innocent people who are starving, lot of innocent people who are in trouble and dying. And it’s got to stop.”
Biden’s criticism of Israel comes as his administration is making a concerted push to achieve a temporary cease-fire between Israel and Hamas to allow for the release of Israeli hostages held in the Gaza Strip, the scale-up of humanitarian aid deliveries to Gaza, reconstruction and space for diplomacy to discuss an end to the war.
Some Democrats, and many members of the Arab-American community, have been critical of Biden given his initial staunch support for Israel following the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks that left more than 1,000 Israelis dead. Thousands of Palestinians, including women and children, have been killed in the subsequent strikes in Gaza, which is controlled by Hamas.
Biden has in recent months shifted his language, however, pushing Israel to be more targeted in its military campaign and urging officials in the region to allow humanitarian supplies into Gaza.
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