Israel removes video 'denigrating' foreign press

2015-06-21 20:07
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Jerusalem - Israel's foreign ministry has taken down a video that angered foreign journalists by ridiculing their coverage of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, saying it had been "misinterpreted".

"The goal of the video was to illustrate the crimes of Hamas," ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nahshon said on Sunday. "When that was misinterpreted, we decided to remove it."

The 49-second cartoon clip, entitled "Open your eyes about Gaza", was posted on YouTube a week ago. It was also posted on the ministry's website.

Primarily addressing the coverage of last year's war in Gaza, it drew condemnation from the Foreign Press Association (FPA) in Israel, which called it "inappropriate" and "unhelpful", as well as from Israeli journalists.

The video featured a blonde-haired television correspondent in Gaza with an American accent declaring before a camera that "there are no terrorists here, just ordinary people", while a masked militant fires off a rocket, presumably towards Israel.

Another scene has the reporter describing tunnels that Hamas fighters used to stage attacks into Israeli territory as "the first Palestinian subway”.

A female character then gives the reporter a pair of glasses, allowing him to see the reality of "life under Hamas rule".

The reporter then faints.

The FPA called the ministry's decision to remove the "much-criticised cartoon that denigrated foreign press coverage" of the Gaza war a "victory".

Nahshon had said the video was "poking gentle fun at the phenomenon" of Hamas allegedly using "human shields" during fighting and the "partial reporting" of this by international media.

The international media reported during the 2014 conflict on the alleged use of civilian sites by Palestinian militants to store weapons and fire rockets.

Read more on:    israel  |  media

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