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Biden: Israel’s actions in Gaza are ‘over the top’

President Joe Biden on Thursday described Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza as “over the top” in a news conference at the White House.

In response to reporters’ shouted questions, the president expounded on his push for aid in Gaza and said the ongoing violence “has to stop.”

“There are a lot of innocent people who are starving. A lot of innocent people in trouble and dying. And it has to stop,” Biden said.

Biden has taken flak from the Democratic Party’s left flank over his support for Israel’s recent actions in the Gaza strip. His Thursday remarks were some of his sharpest criticism yet of the U.S.’s Middle Eastern ally.

The president further said that Egypt’s president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi “initially … did not want to open up the gate to allow humanitarian material to get in. I talked to him. I convinced him to open the gate.”

Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), a critic of Israel’s conduct as it retaliates against Hamas, said of Biden’s comment, “A just war still needs to be weighed justly.”

The president’s main focus in the news conference was addressing the special counsel report released Thursday supporting the Justice Department’s decision not to charge Biden for mishandling classified documents.

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