In Michigan, Kamala Harris laments Gaza fatalities in Israeli rescue mission

Kamala Harris focused on “all the innocent lives lost in Gaza” in a speech to Michigan Democrats.  

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Vice President Kamala Harris focused Saturday on the deaths of Palestinians when mentioning the Israeli operation that rescued four Jewish hostages after eight months of captivity in the Gaza Strip.

Speaking at a Democratic Party dinner in Michigan, a swing state with a large Muslim population where many are angry at the Biden administration’s support of Israel in its war with the Hamas terror organization, she talked of having a “heavy heart.”

“Before I begin,” she said, “I just say a few words about the morning which I know weighs heavily on all of our hearts.

“On October seventh, Hamas committed a brutal massacre of 1,200 innocent people and abducted 250 hostages. Thankfully four of those hostages were reunited with their families tonight,” she noted first.

The vice president then immediately continued, “And we mourn all of the innocent lives that have been lost in Gaza, including those tragically killed today.”

Hamas’ health ministry, which does not differentiate between non-combatant and combatants, claimed that 274 Palestinians, including many women and children, were killed by Israeli forces during the operation that rescued Noa Argamani (26), Almog Meir Jan (22), Andrey Kozlov (27), and Shlomi Ziv (41) from two civilian apartment buildings in the Nuseirat refugee camp.

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Israel says that perhaps 100 Palestinians died, with IDF Spokesman Lieut. Col. Jonathan Conricus noting to a BBC interviewer that they did not yet know how many of them “were directly related to the effort to jail and hold Israeli civilians in Gaza for eight months.”

He added that the Israeli forces came under heavy machine fire and many rocket-propelled grenades, “and we cannot rule out that at least some of the alleged Palestinian casualties were the result of reckless Palestinian fire.”

Harris went on to say that the U.S. was working “every day” to bring the conflict to an end “in a way that ensures Israel is secure, brings home all hostages, ends ongoing suffering for Palestinian people and ensures that Palestinians can enjoy their right to self-determination, dignity and freedom.”

The latter point reflected the Biden administration’s ongoing belief that the Palestinians should have a state even though a vast majority of Israelis disagree, believing that not only would it be giving the Palestinians a reward for their terrorism, it would ensure that the terrorism continues.

For his part, speaking at a press conference in France during a four-day commemoration of the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landing during World War II, President Joe Biden briefly applauded the rescue without mentioning the ones responsible for their long captivity, or the Palestinian deaths.

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“I’d like to echo [French] President Macron’s comments welcoming the safe rescue of four hostages who were returned to their families in Israel,” he said. “We won’t stop working until all the hostages come home and a ceasefire is reached. That is essential to happen.”