Palestinians believe Biden’s latest remarks are yet “another bold attempt” to influence public opinion and further spread misinformation.
United States President Joe Biden has blamed the Palestinians for Tuesday’s massacre at the Al-Ahli Arabi Baptist Hospital in Gaza, in yet another move to shield its ally Israel from accountability for its harrowing crimes against Palestinians.
“I was deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion of the hospital in Gaza yesterday, and based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you,” Biden said in Tel Aviv on Wednesday in a briefing with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in remarks understood to refer to Palestinian resistance groups.
Biden added: “But there’s a lot of people out there not sure, so we’ve got a lot, we’ve got to overcome a lot of things.”
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) targeted the Al-Ahli Arabi Baptist Hospital on Tuesday night, carrying out a massacre that killed at least 500 Palestinians. The hospital had served as shelter for hundreds of Palestinians who were forcibly displaced from their homes by the Israeli war on Gaza while providing hundreds of injured with urgent medical treatment.
Over 12 days, the IOF have killed at least 3,450 Palestinians, including over 1,000 children.
In the immediate aftermath of the hospital bombing, Israeli social media official Hananya Naftali posted that the hospital had been struck due to a Hamas base being in the area. However, the post was deleted within hours – a fact highlighted by Palestine’s envoy to the United Nations.
“He is a liar. His spokesperson and digital spokesperson tweeted that Israel did the hit thinking that there is around this hospital, a base for Hamas and then he deleted that tweet. We have a copy of that tweet,” Riyad Mansour said, referring to Netanyahu.
Israel later claimed the attack was caused by a rocket fired by Hamas, and later by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). The PIJ group rejected the allegations, calling out the “Zionist enemy” for “trying hard to evade its responsibility.”
The Israeli government also spread videos they claimed were of the attack on social media, but their falsehood was exposed by a separate investigation by Al-Haq, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights. The videos were later removed from Israel’s official social media posts.
Meanwhile, Palestinians have slammed Biden’s remarks as an attempt by Washington to achieve “Israeli colonial expansion.”
“[The] US-Israeli alliance is a strategic alliance that supports all the ongoing crimes in Gaza and the aim of their alliance is achieving the Israeli colonial expansion on the account of Palestinians lives and land,” Sari Sabatin, a Palestinian refugee from the displaced village of Al-Dawayima, told Doha News.
Sabatin added that “the US keeps taking advantage of the situation to advocate for the Israeli agenda through manipulation of the media and public opinion.”
Israel has long acted with impunity while entrenching its occupation of Palestine and siege of Gaza with the help of its ally, the US. As Israel’s main ally, the US annually sends around $3.8 billion to Tel Aviv’s, and is backing its ongoing attacks against Palestinians living under 75 years of occupation.
The US also joined a number of Western allies in voting against a Russian UN Security Council resolution for a humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza on Monday.
“The Biden Administration has embroiled the US in a conflict that’s likely to backfire in unpredictable and unprecedented ways. It’s most foolish,” Palestinian writer Dr. Azzam Tamimi, author of “Hamas Unwritten Chapters”, told Doha News.
Biden’s accusation that the Palestinian resistance carried out the devastating hospital attack is not the first time he has amplified Israel’s unsubstantiated claims in recent days.
Last week, Biden helped spread uncorroborated allegations that Hamas fighters had allegedly beheaded Israeli babies. However, a White House spokesperson later clarified to The Washington Post that President Biden’s remarks were primarily based on the Israeli reports and claims by Israeli diplomats.
A Washington official said on Thursday that no member of the Biden administration, including the president himself, had seen such images.
Sabatin believes Biden’s latest remarks are yet “another bold attempt” to influence public opinion and further spread misinformation.
“The voices of fairness stand louder than their actions, demonstrated by the massacre at the Baptist hospital bombing in Gaza yesterday [Tuesday] highlighted by the US president who demonised the victims and the people in Gaza by claiming that they caused the bombing in another bold attempt to influencing the public opinion with spreading falsehood about the situation,” Sabatin said.