President Biden
President BidenOfficial White House Photo by Adam Schultz

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre clarified on Friday that US President Joe Biden was referring to Israel’s military operation when he described the conduct of the response in Gaza as “over the top” in remarks on Thursday night.

“He was obviously talking about Israel’s conduct in Gaza,” Jean-Pierre told reporters at a press briefing, though she also said that Biden’s position “hasn’t changed”.

“He’s been clear that the US wants to see the Hamas terror organization defeated. That is a shared goal that we have with Israel,” she added. “At the same time, the president has also been very clear that they must do so by ensuring that their operations are targeted and conducted in a way that they are protecting innocent civilians.”

Biden on Thursday night told reporters at the White House, "I'm of the view, as you know, that the conduct of the response in Gaza, in the Gaza Strip, has been over the top.”

The President added that he is working hard to bring about a lasting pause in the fighting in order to facilitate a deal for the release of hostages and the entry of additional humanitarian aid to the Strip.

Biden, who has come under fire for memory lapses, including in a report by Special Counsel Robert Hur who probed Biden’s handling of classified documents, mistakenly referred to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi as the president of Mexico.

“Initially, the president of Mexico -- Sisi -- 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. I talked to Bibi to open the gate on Israeli side. I've been pushing really hard, really hard to get humanitarian assistance into Gaza. There are a lot of innocent people who are starving. Lots of innocent people are in trouble and dying. And it's got to stop," he said.

Biden also noted that he’s “pushing very hard now to deal with this hostage ceasefire."

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)