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White House claims Biden used ‘publicly available data’ when seeming to accept Hamas’ Gaza death count

white-house-claims-biden-used-‘publicly-available-data’-when-seeming-to-accept-hamas’-gaza-death-count
White House claims Biden used ‘publicly available data’ when seeming to accept Hamas’ Gaza death count

WASHINGTON — The White House claims that President Biden was relying on “publicly available data” Monday when he appeared to accept a death toll circulated by the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry without questioning the source.

Biden previously dismissed the Gaza Health Ministry’s data as anti-Israel propaganda, but Monday, he said while hosting Jordanian King Abdullah II at the White House that Israel killed “too many” Palestinians in response to the Oct. 7 slaughter of about 1,200 people by Hamas terrorists.

“Too many, too many of the over 27,000 Palestinians killed in this conflict have been innocent civilians and children, including thousands of children,” Biden said, appearing to cite a slightly outdated figure from the Gaza Health Ministry, which as of Monday counted more than 28,000 dead.

Biden’s apparent acceptance of the data came as he escalates criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s management of the conflict.

Polling shows that the president’s re-election campaign is imperiled by his plummeting support among Muslim and Arab voters in swing states such as Michigan.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters at the regular White House briefing Tuesday, “The president was referring to publicly available data about the total number of casualties.

“And as he said, too many of that total number, unfortunately, are innocent civilians. He was referring to publicly available data,” Kirby said.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre also deflected when a journalist pressed her on the point.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, S.C., where nine worshippers were killed in a mass shooting.

The White House claims President Biden was relying on “publicly available data” when he appeared to accept a death toll circulated by the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry without questioning the source. AP

Smoke rising from Israeli military operations in Gaza Strip refugee camps, seen from southern Gaza Strip.

Biden previously dismissed the Gaza Health Ministry’s data as anti-Israel propaganda. MOHAMMED SABER/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Israeli bombing aftermath in Gaza kills and injures at least 40 people near Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Deir el-Balah, central Gaza.

Biden’s apparent acceptance of the data came as he escalates criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s management of the conflict. ZUMAPRESS.com

“That appeared to be numbers from the Gaza Health Ministry,” a reporter pointed out.

“Last fall, President Biden said he had ‘no confidence’ in those figures because of the health ministry’s ties to Hamas. Does President Biden and the White House now have confidence in the figures coming from the Gaza Health Ministry?”

Jean-Pierre replied, “There’s data out there that speaks to the lives lost, innocent lives lost.”

When pressed, she added, “We know thousands of lives have been lost. We know that.”

White House spokespeople did not clarify Biden’s data source after the briefing.

Biden previously said on Oct. 25 after the Gaza Health Ministry tallied 5,000 Palestinian casualties, “I have no notion that the Palestinians are telling the truth about how many people were killed. I have no confidence in the number that the Palestinians are using.”

Kirby also has repeatedly rebuked the Gaza Health Ministry figures, specifically faulting data figures from a disputed hospital explosion.

“If you are going to report casualty figures out of Gaza, I would frankly recommend you don’t choose numbers put out by an organization that’s run by a terrorist organization,” Kirby said Oct. 26.

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