A HuffPost review of nearly 20 State Department updates on the Israel-Hamas war found repeated references to the Gaza Health Ministry with few caveats about its accuracy.

President Joe Biden on Wednesday cast doubt on the casualty figures reported from Gaza as Israel continues its U.S.-backed military operation there, telling reporters: “I have no notion that the Palestinians are telling the truth about how many people are killed.” But within Biden’s own administration, officials have consistently cited the death toll and other data provided by authorities inside Gaza, according to a HuffPost review of internal State Department documents.

HuffPost reviewed nearly 20 State Department “situation reports,” with the earliest dating from Oct. 8, the day after the Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a devastating attack inside Israel that killed 1,400 people and sparked the current fighting. Most were prepared by the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem and then circulated to a broad group of department officials working on issues related to Israel-Palestine. Situation reports such as these represent U.S. assessments from the ground that are intended to inform policy discussions and decision-making in Washington.

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