The president of the United States, Joe Biden, has cast doubt on the official number of Palestinians killed by Israel’s bombings in the Gaza Strip, controlled by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), which has reported more than 6,500 deaths, including 2,700 children, since the war began, on October 7.
“I am sure that innocent people have died, and it is the price of fighting a war (…) But I have no confidence in the number that the Palestinians are using,” he declared during a press conference with the Australian Prime Minister, Anthony Albanese.
Biden added that “the Israelis should be very careful to make sure they focus on going after the people who are spreading this war against Israel,” but stressed that “he has no idea that the Palestinians are telling the truth.”
These statements by Biden come a day after US Security Council spokesman John Kirby and White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre suggested that any information emerging from the Gaza Health Ministry should be treated with skepticism.
However, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported the day before that more than 400 Palestinian children die or are injured every day by air attacks by the Israeli Army, which is prepared to begin an incursion into the Strip.
Added to the bombings is the total siege imposed by the Israeli authorities on the enclave, which makes it impossible to enter basic goods, such as food, water, medicine or fuel, thus subjecting the population to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa, Adele Khodr, stated then that “without humanitarian access, deaths from attacks could be the tip of the iceberg.”