Biden Appears To Cite Hamas-Provided Gaza Casualty Figures After Saying He Has ‘No Confidence’ In Them

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President Joe Biden appeared to cite Hamas-provided Gaza casualty numbers on Sunday, even after claiming those figures are unreliable.

During his statement commemorating the occasion of Ramadan, a holy month for Muslims, Biden claimed that over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed in the crossfire of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war in Gaza. Biden appeared to be citing the estimate from the Gaza Health Ministry, which itself has provided false information about the war and is run by Hamas, according to the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. (RELATED: Biden Admin Edited Harsher Language Out Of Kamala Harris’ ‘Immediate Ceasefire’ Speech Before Delivery: REPORT)

“The sacred month is a time for reflection and renewal. This year, it comes at a moment of immense pain,” Biden said on Sunday. “The war in Gaza has inflicted terrible suffering on the Palestinian people. More than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed, most of them civilians, including thousands of children.”

The Gaza Health Ministry said in late February that over 30,000 Palestinians have been killed since the start of the Israel-Hamas war in October. The ministry claims it calculates this number through a combination of hospital data and public information, according to NPR.

Though the Palestinian Authority is technically the government of Gaza, Hamas seized control in 2007 and now rules over virtually everything in the region, including the health ministry, according to FDD. The health ministry has on several occasions provided unreliable or flat-out inaccurate information, such as falsely claiming that an Israeli airstrike blew up a Gazan hospital in October.

The casualty figures provided by the Gaza Health Ministry have been met with skepticism from the international community and have not been independently verified. The figures also do not discriminate between civilian and Hamas casualties, according to FDD.

Biden himself previously claimed that he did not trust the provided casualty figures.

“I have no notion that the Palestinians are telling the truth about how many people are killed,” Biden said during remarks in October. “I think we should be incredibly careful.  I think — well, not ‘we’ — the Israelis should be incredibly careful to be sure that they’re focusing on going after the folks that are propagating this war against Israel.  And it’s against their interest when that doesn’t happen.”

“But I have no confidence in the number that the Palestinians are using,” Biden said.

Biden’s relationship with the Israeli government and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has become increasingly strained over disagreements as to how the war should be conducted. Biden is pressing Netanyahu to scale back military operations and end the war quickly, even though Hamas has still not been fully defeated.

The Biden administration announced last week it would deliver additional humanirtian aid to Gaza via a maritime corridor in the Mediterranean Sea. Though U.S. forces will not be on the ground in Gaza, as the aid will essentially be floated over to the shores, the Pentagon admitted Friday there is “certainly a risk” that Hamas might fire on American troops on nearby naval vessels conducting the operation.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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