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Rabbi whose wife, daughters were killed by Palestinian gunman rejects Christiane Amanpour apology

CNN’s Amanpour had originally said the three died in a “shootout”

Longtime CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour has apologized to the family of Jewish terror attack victims for falsely classifying their deaths as the result of a “shootout.”

On April 7, British-Israeli sisters Maya, 16, and Rina Dee, 20, were shot to death near the West Bank settlement of Hamra. Their mother, Lucy, was also shot and died in hospital a few days later. On April 10, Amanpour spoke of the incident during an interview with Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh while asking a question about escalating violence.

We have a young 15-year-old Palestinian boy who’s been shot and killed by security — Israeli security forces,” she said. “We also have the mother of two sisters, Israeli-British sisters. They were killed in a shootout, and now the mother has died of her injuries.”

Honest Reporting, a pro-Israel media watchdog, tweeted to Amanpour, “you owe a grieving family an apology.” On Sunday, during an event hosted by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Rabbi Leo Dee, who lost his wife and two daughters during the attack, said he was considering filing a $1.3 billion lawsuit against CNN.

On Monday, during a broadcast of her eponymous global affairs program, Amanpour said she “misspoke” by referring to the deaths as the result of a shootout, rather than a shooting. 

She said she had sent a written apology to Rabbi Dee to “make sure he knows we apologize for any further pain that may have caused him.”

But Dee almost immediately rejected the apology, telling Israeli outlet i24 News that it wasn’t “worth the paper it was printed on.”

Dee said Amanpour’s comment is typical of CNN “where they try to make a comparison between the victim and the terrorist” and that “when you make a statement in front of 100 million people on primetime television and then you apologize in an email to a single person, it has one one hundredth of a million of the impact.”

During the interview with i24, Dee said “there’s only one thing that would atone for this particular sin is that they change their attitude towards Israel.”

JTA contributed to this story.

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