Wolf Blitzer should have known better.
Nabil Shaath, the senior Palestinian official who on CNN several days ago fervently charged Israel with conducting “a war against the Palestinian people,” has a history of lying about Palestinian casualties. In 2002, after Israel’s difficult and costly battle with Palestinian gunmen in Jenin, Shaath told the CNN journalist that the Israeli army “massacred” Palestinians and “snatched” their corpses, which they supposedly “buried elsewhere in unidentified graves.” It was pure fabrication. So was Shaath’s statement to AFP that 300 Palestinians were killed during the battle. In fact 52 were killed, mostly combatants.
An analysis of casualties by CAMERA’s Steven Stotsky, which looks at Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) data through July 26, reveals that Shaath was off by hundreds. About 300 women, children and elderly were killed in Gaza at the time of the interview, assuming children to be everyone under the age of 18 and elderly to be those over 64. Add 17-year-old males to the count and the number rises to about 325. (This figure almost certainly includes Palestinians killed by Palestinian rockets that misfired.) In short, CNN viewers were given a number that more than doubled the true figure.