[VIDEO]Sanders slams ‘distortion’ over his remark on 10,000 Gaza dead

Sanders slams ‘distortion’ over his remark on 10,000 Gaza dead

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders issues a statement clarifying that his recollection that there were 10,000 civilian Palestinian civilian deaths was inaccurate and that the interviewer corrected him in the course of the conversation.

Any attempts to claim that he made a statement of fact was a “distortion,” his campaign says.

“As many people know, Sen. Sanders, as a young man, spent months in Israel and, in fact, has family living there now. There is no candidate for president who will be a stronger supporter of Israel’s right to exist in freedom, peace and security,” says Sanders’ spokesman, Michael Briggs in a statement from the campaign.

“The path to peace in the Middle East is not an easy one,” Briggs added. “As we go forward in this campaign, distorting the truth is not useful. We hope there can be an honest discussion of this important issue.”

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally on April 5, 2016 in Laramie, Wyoming (Theo Stroomer/Getty Images/AFP)

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally on April 5, 2016 in Laramie, Wyoming (Theo Stroomer/Getty Images/AFP)

In an interview with the New York Daily News, Sanders suggested Israel had killed “over 10,000 innocent” Palestinian civilians in Gaza during the war there in the summer of 2014, and said the high casualties were the result of an “indiscriminate” Israeli military offensive.

“Anybody help me out here, because I don’t remember the figures, but my recollection is over 10,000 innocent people were killed in Gaza. Does that sound right?” he said first.

Hamas health authorities in Gaza put the civilian death toll at about a seventh of the figure cited by Sanders; Israel puts it lower still.

“The idea that Sen. Sanders stated definitely that 10,000 Palestinians were killed is just not accurate and a distortion of that discussion,” Briggs says. “Bringing peace between Israel and the Palestinians will not be easy. It would help if candidates’ positions on this issue are not distorted.”

timesofisrael

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