(Headline USA) The Biden administration reportedly told U.S. embassies this week that they could lower the American flag in mourning of a purported hospital blast in Gaza—an attack that U.S. intelligence and Israeli defense sources maintain was triggered by a misfired Palestinian rocket.
Amid fluxuating narratives and blatant misinformation from mainstream media, some sources online have subsequently questioned whether there was, in fact, an attack on the hospital, noting that it remained intact afterward.
Yet, even while the American government opted to stick with Israel’s version of events, it sent mixed signals by encouraging displays of virtue-signaling to mourn the apparent loss of Palestinian lives—reported to be in the hundreds.
All diplomatic and consular posts across the globe received a memo from Secretary of State Antony Blinken that they could move the flag to half-staff “to observe national periods of mourning following an official proclamation by the host government with respect to the loss of innocent lives at the Al Ahli hospital blast on Oct. 18,” according to the Times of Israel.
Diplomats should specifically consider whether not lowering the flag “would expose the US Mission to added security risk and/or isolate the US Mission vis-a-vis like-minded embassies,” Blinken wrote.
The State Department did not issue a similar memo encouraging embassies to lower their flags after Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel.
“What we said in respect to the lowering of flags is that embassies could make decisions consistent with long-standing State Department policy… to decide to lower their flag when a state of mourning has been declared in that country,” a State Department spokesperson said when asked why Blinken issued the guidance.
“We of course, mourn the loss of innocent civilians who died in that explosion at the hospital just as we mourn the loss of 1,300 Israeli civilians in the deadly terrorist attacks by Hamas,” the spokesperson added.
Though Hamas blamed the hospital explosion on Israel, President Joe Biden said U.S. intelligence agencies had concluded Palestinian rockets were to blame.
“I was deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion of the hospital in Gaza yesterday, and based on what I’ve seen, it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you,” Biden said to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu during his trip to Israel this week.