The head of an extreme anti-Israel group that regularly holds events with House Democrats said "most" of the roughly 1,200 Israeli citizens slaughtered during Hamas’s Oct. 7 terror attack "were killed by their own army."
American Muslims for Palestine (AMP) executive director Dr. Osama Abuirshaid made the inflammatory claim during a Friday "emergency protest" held outside of the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C. "What they told us, what they alleged that happened on Oct. 7 turned out to be a lie," Abuirshaid said to applause from Palestinian flag-waving attendees. "Most of the civilians were killed by their own army."
Abuirshaid's remark comes just days after Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., Mich.) spoke at an anti-Israel AMP demonstration in Detroit. The radical group has long hobnobbed with House Democrats—in addition to Tlaib, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.) in 2020 touted AMP's support in a letter that urged the State Department to withhold U.S. aid to Israel. Reps. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) and Betty McCollum (D., Minn.) also headlined AMP's annual conference in 2020.
Abuirshaid during the Friday rally said his claim that Israel killed "most" of the civilians slaughtered on Oct. 7 came from Haaretz. The liberal Israeli newspaper in a Nov. 18 article written in Hebrew cited an anonymous "police source" who spoke of an investigation into the Israeli military's response to Hamas's infamous attack on the Supernova music festival. That anonymous source, Haaretz said, "also revealed that an IDF combat helicopter that arrived at the scene … fired at the terrorists and apparently also hit some of the revelers who were there."
The Israeli government quickly disputed the claim and called on Haaretz to "take responsibility for their publications and only base stories on official sources." The Palestinian Authority later used the Haaretz article to issue a statement on social media falsely accusing Israel of bombing its own civilians and "kill[ing] everyone" during the music festival. The statement prompted widespread rebuke, and the Palestinian Authority deleted the posts that contained the statement.
Still, that ordeal did not stop Abuirshaid from making the same debunked claim on Friday. The AMP leader is known for cheering on Hamas terrorists—in 2014, he praised Hamas for "raining the Hebrew state with rockets."
Abuirshaid has also railed against the "Zionist influence in the media," while other AMP leaders have said those who "work with the Jews … deserve any punishment possible" and called to "set Israel on fire … and watch it burn to ashes along with every Israeli in it." AMP board member Salah Sarsour also raised money for a Hamas front group in the late 1990s, according to an FBI memorandum.
AMP did not return a request for comment.
In addition to Abuirshaid's speech, anti-Israel activists at the Friday AMP demonstration unveiled a scroll that purported to list the names of deceased Gazan children. One attendee used the scroll to downplay Hamas's taking of Israeli hostages.
"These people are dead. These people are still alive," the AMP activist said. "These people are kids. Half of those people are soldiers."
The Israeli Embassy to the United States posted a video of the protesters descending on the building alongside the message "Am Israel Chai," which means, "The people of Israel live."
"Hatikvah will never be silenced," the post said.