The White House has walked back statements made by President Joe Biden regarding his comments about images of Israeli children whose heads were purportedly cut off by Hamas members in their military operation against Israeli military outposts in the settlement around Gaza.
According to CNN, a U.S. administration official explained that the President’s remarks were based on allegations made by Israeli officials and local media reports.
The official emphasized that President Biden and American officials “had not independently verified these images or confirmed that Hamas was behind these claims.”
This clarification comes only hours after President Biden addressed Jewish community leaders, expressing his shock at seeing images of terrorists cutting off the heads of children.
He described the attack as an “unrelenting campaign of pure cruelty, not just hatred, but pure cruelty, against the Jewish people.”
An Israeli military spokesperson, when asked about the reported incident, told The Intercept newspaper that they had no information confirming what Israeli newspapers and social media had circulated about Hamas members cutting the heads of children.
Hamas, in response, strongly rejected the President’s incendiary statements and accused him of propagating misinformation. They reaffirmed the Palestinian people’s right to resist occupation and emphasized that the Palestinian resistance would not engage in the execution or torture of Israeli prisoners.
Talal Nassar, a Hamas official, expressed frustration with Western media outlets spreading false Israeli claims about the Palestinian resistance, pointing out that these allegations of Palestinian militants beheading children and assaulting women were unsubstantiated and misleading.
Allegations have also emerged in Western mainstream media that Hamas fighters raped several Israeli women, but at least one media outlet has retracted these allegations.
President Biden, in his Tuesday speech, claimed that women “have been raped and assaulted and used as prizes,” but there is no clear evidence to support these allegations.
Today evening, Abu Obaida, the spokesman for the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, explained that the Palestinian resistance leadership had given explicit instructions to Palestinian fighters not to harm or terrorize children, women, or civilians.
In his address, he affirmed that the recent operations carried out by Palestinian resistance militants targeted Israeli military outposts and personnel in the settlements surrounding the Gaza Strip.
He also acknowledged that while most casualties were Israeli soldiers and armed settlers, some civilian casualties had occurred due to confrontations between Palestinian fighters and Israeli police in certain settlements. Such casualties could be attributed to resistance fire or Israeli security forces.
Israeli sources have reported that several Israeli settlers were killed by Israeli forces while indiscriminately firing towards Palestinian fighters.