Um, What? Arab WH Reporter Claims War Has Killed 160 Family Members

November 1st, 2023 12:48 PM

Tuesday’s White House press briefing brought about more of the same with a slew of journalists standing up for Hamas and their civilian supporters in Gaza following an Israeli airstrike in Jabalia on a refugee camp allegedly posing as a giant human shield for Hamas operations. But within the questions was a curious question from one Arab reporter in which he shockingly claimed he’s lost 160 family members in the war.

The reporter was Sohail Al Shaer from the Egyptian TV station Alghad TV and he made the claim to the National Security Council’s John Kirby: “Mr. Kirby, thousands of Palestinian civilians have fallen so far, including 160 of my own relatives.”

He then asked a predictably tilted question “[A]nd I’m just wondering how many Palestinian civilians need to be killed before the United States calls for a ceasefire.”

Kirby took the high road, repeatedly giving his condolences before insisting “it’s personal for the President too” and that “[w]e don’t want to see any more civilian casualties.” However, he correctly noted, the “concern with [a ceasefire] is that Hamas benefits to the — to the tune of being able to refit, renew themselves, plan and execute additional attacks”.

Al Shaer further revealed his anti-Israel behavior in his second question by asking whether Gazans would be able to return home after the war, fretting it could “be like 1948 where — like, ethnic cleansing and like they’re not allowed to return”.

Kirby steered clear of the past and instead argued that’d be the presumption. Al Shaer had one final question trashing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for framing the fight against Hamas as biblical in nature, arguing it’s “a concern”, but Kirby stayed firm in calling out Hamas’s “genocidal behavior” “barbaric” actions meant the status quo was no longer acceptable.

Earlier in the briefing, Kirby slammed Hamas in responding to a question from ABC’s Selina Wang suggesting he assign blame to more than just Hamas for Gazans being unable to flee the Gaza Strip.

“How about if I just put the blame on Hamas? I mean...they are putting obstacles up to allow us to get folks out. It’s not Israel. It’s not Egypt. It’s not places like Jordan. The — Hamas has been making it difficult to do this,” he insisted.

CNN’s M.J. Lee was busy doing Hamas’s work for them, underlining why they’ll continue to use civilians as human shields so long as journalists blast the U.S. and Israeli officials, arguing it’s “clear...civilian casualties are not being minimized” (click “expand”):

LEE: What is clear is that there are and will be many, many casualties as a result. The President and everyone on down have made very clear that they are urging Israelis to minimize civilian casualties as much as possible. Is it clear at this point that that is not happening — that civilian casualties are not being minimized?


KIRBY: As I — as I have said repeatedly, MJ, I mean, we’re not going to react to every event in real time.  But we certainly recognize that civilians have been hurt, civilians have been killed to the tune of many thousands, that infrastructure has been damaged by — by these airstrikes. We recognize that. We observe that and — and we’re not accepting of any single civilian death in Gaza. They’re all tragedies and we continue to work and will continue to work with the Israelis about — about the need to — to respect human life and to — and to try to limit civilian casualties. What I said yesterday though needs to be repeated: that, unlike Russia and Ukraine and unlike what Hamas did on the 7th of October, the killing of civilians is not a war aim of Israel. I’m not denying that it’s happening. Now, I — of course it is, and it’s tragic, but it is — it’s not the goal of Israeli forces to go out and deliberately take innocent civilian life and they have tried to make efforts to minimize that.

LEE: But would you — would you go as far as to say that Israel is not successfully minimizing civilian casualties in Gaza?

KIRBY: I would say — is — what I — what I said to you before: It’s obvious to us that — that they are — that they are trying to minimize.

She had backup from Reuters’s Jeff Mason: “[T]he IDF has confirmed...that the attack on the refugee camp and hospital was an Israeli one. How do you square that with what you’re saying about Israel trying to avoid civilian deaths?”

In a follow-up, he demanded to know “[w]hat evidence” is there “that Israel is trying not to kill civilians.”

Providing another example of how American tax dollars aren’t being used wisely, the government-funded Voice of America’s Anita Powll told both Kirby and Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre that Muslim Americans are furious with President Biden for supporting Israel and not supporting Hamas’s demands for a ceasefire.

In her question to Jean-Pierre, Powell wanted to know if any “outreach” was being done to assuage the “very many angry Muslim Americnas” and Jean-Pierre offered an eye-roller of a reply about Muslims “hav[ing] endured a disproportionate number of — certainly, of hate-fueled attacks”.

Doocy Time provided a contrast to all this leftist nonsense as he grilled Kirby about the way our porous southern border could lead to concerns about a terrorist attack on U.S. soil. Like most answers on this issue from the administration, Kirby ducked (click “expand”):

DOOCY: John, the — the people in this country making violent antisemitic threats, are they domestic terrorists?

KIRBY: I don’t know that we’re classifying people as domestic terrorists for that. I mean, I — that’s really a question better left to law enforcement. I’m — I’m not aware that there’s been such a characterization of that. 

DOOCY: Okay. The FBI director said today, “The ongoing war in the Middle East has raised the threat of an attack against Americans in the United States to a whole nother level.” Has the White House considered the possibility that a terrorist could be in the country right now after crossing the southern border?

KIRBY: Peter, we are always concerned about the potential presence on U.S. soil of terrorists coming from overseas. That’s something we’re always worried about. 

DOOCY: But there was this bulletin last week — the CBP in San Diego said militants associated with the Israel-Hamas war may be potentially encountered at the Southwest border.


DOOCY: Is there any heartburn around — 600,000 known got-aways just in the last fiscal year? Is there any heartburn about leaving the border in such a condition that 1 of those 600,000 could be a terrorist?

KIRBY: So, let me just break this down...I can’t speak to this intelligence report that was leaked to the media....[W]e are constantly monitoring as best we can all ports of entry to the country for the potential arrival of anybody who might wish us harm and one of the things that the President asked for in this supplemental was additional funding for border security for like 1,500 more Border Patrol agents and better technology at the — at the border...[I]f the general gist of your question is, “Are we taking the potential threat seriously?” Of course we are.

DOOCY: No, the general gist was: Is it possible that somebody who wants to commit a terrorist attack during a time of elevated threat crossed the southern border into the United States already?

KIRBY: I — I couldn’t possibly answer that question, Peter. All I can do is tell you that we are — we have remained vigilant to that potential threat.

And, as Jean-Pierre walked off the podium, the New York Post’s Steven Nelson lashed out at her for continuing to ignore him as, earlier in the briefing, he asked to be called on despite a five-month-long freeze whenever she’s been at the podium: “It’s anti-democratic to refuse questions from one of our country’s four largest newspapers, Karine!”

To see the relevant transcript from the October 31 briefing, click here.