Biden rejected the question of PBS reporter Laura Barron-Lopez regarding the Palestinian death toll provided by the terrorist group Hamas. He said he had “no faith” that such numbers were accurate.
Barron-Lopez, who was at a press conference with Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Wednesday, tried to question Biden about whether Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu kept his promise to limit civilian casualties as Israel responded to the horrifying Oct. 7 Hamas attacks.
Barron-Lopez stated that “in the 18 days following Hamas’s killing of 1,400 Israelis the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry claims Israeli forces killed more than 6,000 Palestinians including 2,700 kids.” You’ve asked Netanyahu before to minimize civilian deaths. These numbers suggest that he is ignoring your request.
Biden replied: “What they tell me is that I don’t know if the Palestinians are telling you the truth about the number of people killed.”
Biden added, “I am sure innocents were killed. It’s the cost of war.” I think that we should be extremely careful… Israel should also be very careful in focusing their efforts on the people who are promoting this war against Israel. It’s in their best interest if that doesn’t occur. “But I don’t trust the Palestinians when they use that number.”
Last week, several media outlets reported claims by the Gaza Health Ministry that Israel had bombed Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in an airstrike which resulted in more than 500 civilian casualties.
Later reporting and intelligence revealed that the explosion was caused by a rocket misfired by Hamas’ ally Islamic Jihad. The death toll, therefore, was a fraction of Hamas’ initial claim.
Fake news caused several Arab leaders to cancel their meetings with Biden before his trip to the Middle East. Misreporting led to riots and protests at U.S. embassies in the Middle East.
Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich) is one of those who continue to push the Hamas narrative despite it being discredited by U.S. intelligence and Israeli intelligence.