CNN anchor Amanpour apologizes for calling terror attack on Dee family a ‘shootout’

Rabbi Leo Dee says he does not accept reporter’s apology for causing him ‘further pain,’ calling it ‘too little, too late’ six weeks after journalist’s original comments

Christiane Amanpour participates in the 'Amanpour and Co.' panel during the TCA Summer Press Tour on July 30, 2018, in Beverly Hills, California. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Christiane Amanpour participates in the 'Amanpour and Co.' panel during the TCA Summer Press Tour on July 30, 2018, in Beverly Hills, California. (Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

CNN anchor Christiane Amanpour apologized on air Monday evening for incorrect comments she made six weeks ago about the murders of three dual Israeli-UK nationals in a terror attack last month.

On April 10, Amanpour referred to the Palestinian terrorist attack which took the lives of Lucy Dee and her daughters Maia and Rina Dee as a “shootout,” during an interview with Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh.

Rather, the three women were driving along a highway in early April when two Hamas-linked terrorists opened fire on their vehicle, killing them.

Amanpour’s comment went largely unnoticed until Honest Reporting, an NGO that “monitors the media for bias against Israel,” drew attention to the remark and launched a Twitter campaign calling on the journalist to apologize for her mischaracterization of the incident.

Following the campaign, the famed CNN anchor and veteran war reporter issued a public and private apology to the Dee family.

“During that live interview I misspoke and said that they were killed in a shootout, instead of a shooting,” Amanpour said on CNN Monday evening. “I have written to Rabbi Dee to apologize and make sure that he knows that we apologize for any further pain that may have caused him.”

From left: Lucy Dee is seen with her daughters Rina and Maia. The two sisters were shot dead in a terrorist attack in the West Bank on April 7, 2023. Their mother, critically hurt in the attack, died on April 10, 2023. (Courtesy)

Rabbi Leo Dee, the husband of Lucy and father of Maia and Rena, said Tuesday that he does not accept Amanpour’s apology.

“Too little, too late, I don’t accept it,” Dee told Channel 12 news. “It’s not just this,” he added, accusing CNN of systematic bias in its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“They make moral equivalencies between us and between terrorists,” he said. “They keep doing it and they have no intention to stop doing so… that’s what we’re dealing with.”

Dee had earlier threatened to sue CNN and Amanpour over her mischaracterization of the terror attack in which his wife and two daughters were killed.

Lucy Dee, 48, and her daughters Maia Dee, 20, and Rina Dee, 15, were killed after Palestinian terrorists opened fire at the car they were in as they drove through the northern Jordan Valley on April 7. The daughters were declared dead at the scene, while Lucy was rushed to a hospital in critical condition but died three days later.

The family, which immigrated from the UK nine years ago, holds dual citizenship.

ֿRabbi Leo Dee holds a press conference in Efrat, on April 10, 2023. (Oren Ben Hakoon/Flash90)

Earlier this month, two Palestinians accused of carrying out the attack were shot dead by Israeli troops during a raid in the West Bank city of Nablus.

Amanpour has in the past been criticized for her coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — including referring to Haifa as being in the West Bank and sparring with then-prime minister Naftali Bennett over her characterization of clashes on the Temple Mount.

In 2020, Israeli officials called on her to apologize for comparing the Trump administration to Kristallnacht, the Nazi pogrom against Jews in Germany in 1938.

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