Special to WorldTribune.com
Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders used what was called a grossly exaggerated casualty figure when he accused Israel of killing more than 10,000 “innocent civilians” in the Gaza Strip during the 2014 war with Hamas.
Sanders made the comments in a meeting with the New York Daily News editorial board, a transcript of which was published on April 5.
Analysts say the aged socialist is the least friendly of all presidential candidates towards Israel. Sanders snubbed the recent AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington D.C.
In the Daily News interview, Sanders was critical of Hamas for using civilian centers to fire and store rockets for use against Israelis, but also attacked Israel for not being “discriminate” enough in its use of force.
“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 asked.
When told that number appeared to be inflated, he added, “I don’t have it in my number…but I think it’s over 10,000. My understanding is that a whole lot of apartment houses were leveled. Hospitals, I think, were bombed. So yeah, I do believe and I don’t think I’m alone in believing that Israel’s force was more indiscriminate than it should have been.”
The actual casualty figure for Israel’s 2014 war with Hamas is just over 2,100 and more than half of that number were terrorist combatants. Israel media said the war had the lowest combatant-to-civilian casualty ratio of any conflict ever recorded.