(As originally published with videos and additional photos, Wed, November 15th 2023, 9:21 PM EST)
WOODSIDE, Calif. (TND) — President Joe Biden said the Middle East war between Israel and Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip will not end until Hamas is defeated.
He answered questions from reporters during a news conference in California, Wednesday evening.
Biden said he did not demand a cease-fire from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Instead, he said the war will stop “when Hamas no longer maintains the capacity” to murder.
“They said it out loud,” Biden said of Hamas, that it still intends to commit acts of terror.
“I wonder what we would do,” he continued, as if Hamas or another terrorist organization invaded the U.S. and took hostages.
Biden said despite nearly 11,000 Palestinian civilians killed, Israel is exercising caution with its raids near a hospital above Hamas tunnels.
“The first war crime is being committed by Hamas by having their headquarters, their military, hidden under a hospital,” he said about the terrorists hiding near civilians, putting their lives at risk. “And that’s a fact. That’s what happened.”
Biden said Israel was exercising caution and that Hamas created “a terrible dilemma” with civilians.
The president also said he’s involved in talks with Arab nations including Qatar to free the Israelis being held hostage by Hamas but could not offer specific details that would put the talks in jeopardy.
Biden is in northern California for the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, summit.
Earlier Wednesday, he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping for more than four hours.
Before taking questions, Biden said the two go way back to when they served as vice presidents of their countries.
Biden said despite differences of opinion on many issues, Xi is “straight” with him.
Biden also said they agreed to “pick up the phone” and talk when something needs to be communicated.
Plus, he mentioned the U.S. and China “reassuming military-to-military contacts, direct contacts,” since military communications had “been cut off.”
The president called his talk with Xi “some of the most constructive and productive discussions we’ve had.”
He highlighted curbing the production of drugs, specifically fentanyl and pill presses.
The two leaders also discussed the risks of artificial intelligence.
And, Biden referred to the phrase coined by President Ronald Reagan referring to the Soviet Union in the 1980s: “Trust, but verify.”
But it was the Middle East that brought the most questions.
A reporter with the Washington Post called the situation in Gaza a “humanitarian disaster” and asked when the fighting would stop.
Biden repeated that the war will stop when Hamas no longer has the capacity to commit acts of terror, and that has not yet happened. Instead, Biden said Hamas still thinks it can.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.