US Official Says Number of Palestinians Killed in Gaza Could Be ‘Higher Than’ Reported

Israel continues to carry out massacres in the besieged Gaza Strip. (Photo: via Social Media)

Leaf’s comments were at odds with last month’s statement by US President Joe Biden, who said he had “no confidence” in the Palestinian numbers. 

The number of Gaza Palestinians killed in the Israeli war on Gaza is probably higher than the 10,000 reported by the local health ministry, US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Barbara Leaf has told Congress. 

As of Thursday, November 9, the Gaza Ministry of Health said that 10,812 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since October 7. The number includes 4,412 children and 2,918 women.

“In this period of conflict and conditions of war, it is very difficult for any of us to assess what the rate of casualties are,” Leaf told the House Foreign Affairs Committee during a hearing on Wednesday, according to The Hill. “We think they’re very high, frankly, and it could be that they’re even higher than are being cited.”

“We take in sourcing from a variety of folks who are on the ground,” Leaf added. “I can’t stipulate to one figure or another, it’s very possible they’re even higher than is being reported.”

Leaf’s comments were at odds with last month’s statement by US President Joe Biden, who said he had “no confidence” in the Palestinian numbers. 

Later, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters that the Gaza Health Ministry is “just a front for Hamas.”

“We can’t take anything coming out of Hamas, including the so-called ‘Ministry of Health’, at face value,” Kirby said at the White House press briefing on October 26.

The US has allegedly asked Israel to avoid killing civilians, but a New York Times article last week revealed that Israeli officials “believed mass civilian casualties were an acceptable price in the military campaign,” comparing the operations in Gaza with the firebombings of Germany and Japan in WWII.

Israel has, thus far, killed over 10,812 – including 4,412 children and 2,918 women – and wounded 26,905. Palestinian Ministry of Health reports and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

Despite a massive Israeli military buildup around the Gaza borders and sporadic infiltrations on the outskirts of the besieged Strip, Palestinian Resistance continues to repel Israeli attacks.

To justify its military failure, the Israeli army continues to pound civilian homes throughout the Gaza Strip with new massacres reported everywhere in the besieged enclave.

Gaza has been under a tight Israeli military siege since 2007, following a democratic election in occupied Palestine, the results of which were rejected by Tel Aviv and Washington. 

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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