Joe Biden told reporters that Hamas terrorists have “gotta learn how to shoot straight” following a hospital blast in Gaza which Palestinian authorities claim killed hundreds.
Speaking at Ramstein Air Base in Germany after visiting Israel, Biden said: “I’m not suggesting that Hamas deliberately did it.”
He added: “It’s that old thing: Gotta learn how to shoot straight. It’s not the first time that Hamas has launched something that didn’t function very well.”
Hamas claimed on Tuesday that an Israeli airstrike killed nearly 500 people after it hit al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza City. The blast saw massive protests across the Middle East and forced Biden to scrap a trip to Jordan.
Israel has blamed an errant rocket fired by Palestinian Islamic Jihad for the strike producing audio and video evidence that it says shows the blast was not caused by an airstrike.
The President’s bizarre remarks came as he was filmed rambling to reporters on Air Force One. He froze several times and stared into space during the comments earning him a rebuke online.
Conservatives and Republican politicians have seized on Biden’s many blunders to claim that the octogenarian president is mentally unfit for high office.
Biden was in Israel as a show of US support for Israel following the October 7 terrorist attack by Hamas which killed at least 1,300 Israelis.
He cited Defence Department information suggesting that the al-Ahli Hospital blast was caused by Palestinian terrorists and not Israel.
Speaking on Air Force One, he said: “I don’t know all the details, but I do know the people at the Defence Department who I respect and the intelligence community that I respect, say it is highly improbable that Israel did that.”
Hamas has claimed that the incident killed 471 people, many of whom were sheltering in the parking lot. This claim is unverified and analysts have suggested the death toll could be lower.
Before the hospital blast, Palestinian authorities said at least 2,778 people had been killed in Gaza since the fighting began. Around 1,200 people are missing.