Biden Sorry After Questioning Gaza Death Toll Statistics

President Joe Biden met with prominent Muslim-American leaders in private to make amends after making doubtful comments about Hamas death toll claims amid the Israel-Hamas conflict. During a press conference on Oct. 25, Biden openly questioned the accuracy of the casualty figures reported by the Hamas government in Gaza.

The day after the press conference, Biden reportedly met with five Muslim-American leaders. Originally planned for 30 minutes, the meeting lasted more than twice as long as the leaders shared personal stories of Palestinians affected by the conflict.

Speaking to the leaders during the meeting, Biden reportedly expressed remorse, saying, “I’m sorry. I’m disappointed in myself.”

“I will do better,” he added.

The Muslim-American leaders urged him to show more empathy towards the Palestinians, and it’s reported that Biden even shared a hug with one of the participants at the conclusion of the meeting.

During the press conference the day before, Biden openly questioned the accuracy of the casualty figures from Gaza, saying, “I have no notion that the Palestinians are telling the truth about how many people are killed. I’m sure innocents have been killed, and it’s a price of waging war.”

After expressing his lack of confidence in figures provided by Hamas, top Muslim-American groups took offense and condemned his remark.

“We are deeply disturbed and shocked by the dehumanizing comments that President Biden made about the almost 7,000 Palestinians slaughtered by the Israeli government over the past two weeks,” said Nihad Awad, executive director of the largest U.S. Muslim advocacy organization Council on American-Islamic Relations.

He added, “President Biden should apologize for his comments, condemn the Israeli government for deliberately targeting civilians, and demand a ceasefire before more innocent people die.”

According to data from the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health, more than 14,000 Palestinians in Gaza, including many women and children, have lost their lives in the conflict. Israel, on the other hand, has suffered about 1,300 fatalities, most of whom died in the surprise attack the terror group carried out on Israel on Oct. 7.

Biden’s handling of the Gaza conflict has drawn criticism not only from Republicans but also within his own administration and from some prominent Democrats. While he has maintained U.S. support for Israel, he has also called for a temporary halt in the fighting to allow humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip and for the release of hostages held by Hamas.

Both Hamas and Israel eventually agreed to a temporary ceasefire for four days, starting from last Friday till Monday. The deal was for Hamas to free about 50 Israeli hostages in exchange for dozens of Palestinian prisoners in Israel.