(MSNBC, Ara Ayer, 12/22/04): Throughout Israel and the Palestinian territories, Christians are losing both turf and population.... More than 110,000 Christians lived in the occupied territories before 1948, only some 50,000 remain.
: While the Christian population in the West Bank is shrinking, the population within Israel has grown steadily since 1948. In 2003, the growth rate of this population mirrored the growth of the Jewish population - 1.4%.
In addition, the Department of Statistics of Mandatory Palestine estimated that only 56,500 Christians lived in the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1944 – not 110,000.
(MSNBC, Alex Witt, 4/3/03): Well, Israeli troops backed by 35 tanks, four attack helicopters, as well as bulldozers, raided a refugee camp today on the Gaza-Egyptian border killing at least four people. The Islamic miitant group Hamas claimed responsibility for the biggest military action since the start of the war in Iraq, saying it's a gift to the Iraqi people. According to the Israeli army, the raid was meant to uncover weapons-smuggling tunnels under the Egyptian-Gaza border, but Palestinians have argued Israel has taken advantage of the spotlight on Iraq to use excessive force against them.
: Naturally, Hamas did not take credit for the Israeli raid on the Gaza Strip. Nor did Hamas call that raid “a gift to the Iraqi people.” Ms. Witt was apparently referring to the March 30 suicide bombing next to a cafe in Netanya, in which 49 were injured. It was perpetrated by Islamic Jihad, not Hamas, and it was the first Palestinian suicide bombing since the start of the war in Iraq. Moreover, Palestinian Islamic Jihad referred to the act of terrorism as “Palestine’s gift to the heroic Iraqi people.” Also, the March 30 incident which targeted civilians cannot be accurately referred to as a “military action.” It was a terrorist act. Though an MSNBC producer acknowledged the error and confirmed that the anchor woman had been referring to the Netanya bombing (she skipped a line of the script), no correction was broadcasted.