Biden’s conspiracy theory about the number of casualties in Gaza is unfolding

President Joe Biden, Last week, he was asked what his government intended to do to reduce the number of civilian casualties in Gaza, and he responded by rejecting the idea that the numbers could be trusted. “I have no idea whether the Palestinians are telling the truth about the number of people they have killed,” Biden said. He said Wednesday. He added: “I am sure that innocent people were killed and this is the price of waging war.” “But I don’t trust the number the Palestinians use.”

A new analysis by The Intercept provides evidence refuting this claim.

Biden’s efforts to delegitimize the numbers coming out of Gaza as fake news have created an opportunity for defenders of Israel’s indiscriminate bombing campaign to ignore the crisis. They point out that Hamas rules Gaza, thus running the Ministry of Health and inflating the numbers. (Biden later clarified that he meant to say he did not trust Hamas, but not all Palestinians, according to the New York Times.) Wall Street Journal.)

Biden’s claim was quickly rejected by human rights organizations that have been active in Gaza for years. The Associated Press indicated that the Ministry of Health figures are from Previous conflicts It closely matched the numbers reached by both the Israeli government and the United Nations. And The Ministry of Foreign Affairs itself Numbers have long been considered reliable.

Meanwhile, the Gaza Ministry of Health responded by publishing a list of the names of 6,747 people who had died as of October 26 since the start of the bombing campaign, including 2,664 children. The list included 2,665 children, but The Intercept found that a 14-year-old boy was listed twice, bringing the total number down to 6,746. Otherwise, the list does not contain duplicates.

Now that the Ministry of Health has published a list of the names of the victims, skeptics have pointed out that the list may be fabricated and that the paper containing the names proves nothing. Immediately after these names were published, Biden’s National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, John Kirby, continued his skepticism, saying The ministry is a “front for Hamas” and that “we cannot take anything issued by Hamas, including the so-called Ministry of Health, seriously.”

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Kirby, after being pressured, admitted that civilian casualties were increasing. “We know full well that the death toll continues to rise in Gaza. Of course we know that. But what we are saying is that we should not rely on the numbers provided by Hamas and the Ministry of Health.” One reporter noted that independent reports indicated that “thousands” of civilians had been killed. “We will not disagree about that.” Kirby said.

But is the list itself reliable? We investigated it and were able to confirm dozens of names on the ministry’s list through one family.

Before the list was released, Maram Al-Dada, a Palestinian born and raised in Gaza but now living in Orlando, Florida, spoke to The Intercept about the deaths of seven of his father’s relatives and 30 relatives on his father’s side. His mother’s side in Khan Yunis and its environs. A week later, that number had increased to 46 people. (He and his family appeared on the Deconstructed podcast last week.)

We compared the list of his relatives that he began compiling last week – before the list was issued by officials in Gaza – with the list that the Ministry of Health later announced. Al-Dada and his parents asked that their last names not be published, as there are concerns in Gaza that Israel has targeted journalists and their families, and may also retaliate against civilians who speak to Western media. The family hopes to emerge from the war with as many of its relatives alive as possible.

The list of dead includes four different family names: 30 members from one branch of the family, nine from another branch, four from a third branch, and three from a fourth branch.

Of the 46 Aldada family members lost so far in the war, 43 appear on the list, from the youngest – a baby girl not yet one – to the oldest, a 71-year-old grandmother.

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When a building is struck, multiple generations are wiped out. Al-Dada pointed out that “society in Palestine is different from what it is here.” “People never leave their places. So families are huge; they all stay close to each other. For example, if you have a son, he will get married and he will build a house right behind your house and this continues. That is why you will find a lot of people being killed from the same family.” .

Every name on the list is a story of profound tragedy. For example, one family’s home had already been bombed, so the father and his two children took refuge in his brother’s house. The wife of the father of the family was in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia performing the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, when she learned that her husband and children had been killed in a new bombing of her brother-in-law’s house. The bombing also killed the man’s brother.

There were also several close calls. On Monday, Dada’s ancestral neighbor was bombed, killing the family who lived there. A small piece of shrapnel from the explosion pierced a steel mesh, exploded in a white chair and destroyed the family’s refrigerator. His grandmother, who was unharmed, was sitting in this chair moments before. Share the following photos with us.

Shrapnel, a damaged plastic chair, and a torn iron grill from Maram Al-Dada’s ancestral home in Khan Yunis, Gaza.

Photo: Provided to The Intercept

A report in HuffPost also found that nearly 20 State Department reports have done so Quote The Ministry, and one of them also argued that the Ministry may have underestimated the number. “The numbers are likely much higher, according to UN and NGO reports on the situation,” the US State Department report said.

The Intercept provided the White House with our new reporting and asked whether Kirby and Biden stand behind their claims. We also asked whether the administration had made any independent efforts to measure the extent of the killing if the Department of Health’s numbers were unreliable, and if, as it stated publicly, the administration was concerned about civilian casualties. The White House referred us to public comments made by Kirby and State Department spokesman Matt Miller that acknowledged civilian casualties.

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“We have no way to accurately assess the number of civilians killed in Gaza,” Miller said. Tell Reporters. “There is no independent body operating in Gaza that can provide an accurate figure. But we have doubts about everything Hamas says, but it is clear that a number of civilians have died, and that is why we are working to do everything we can to minimize harm to civilians and to deliver humanitarian aid.” To civilians in Gaza.”

Far from doing everything in its power to minimize harm to civilians, The Israeli army said “The focus is on damage, not accuracy.” Amir Avivi, former deputy commander of the Gaza Division in the Israeli army, He said recently He added: “When our soldiers maneuver, we do so using huge artillery, with 50 aircraft flying in the sky to destroy anything that moves.”

Al-Dada said that his family was completely apolitical, and had nothing to do with Hamas. The October 7 attack on Israel surprised them as much as it surprised the world.

Since Biden muddied the waters over the scale of the carnage, Israel has imposed a complete communications blackout in Gaza, while escalating its air campaign and launching a ground invasion. American officials did It said It has issued special warnings to the Israeli government but has not yet threatened to withdraw any military, political or economic support. Instead, the Biden administration is putting together a $14 billion package for Israel that includes money for Iron Dome, weapons refurbishment, and more.

The Gaza Ministry of Health released updated figures: As of Tuesday 31 October, at least 8,525 Palestinians have been killed and more than 21,543 injured since 7 October.

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