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Israel deletes Foley beheading tweet from government accounts
Published Saturday 23/08/2014 (updated) 23/08/2014 14:06
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A picture taken on November 5, 2012 in Aleppo shows US freelance
reporter James Foley (AFP/File Nicole Tung)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israel on Friday removed from two government Twitter accounts a harrowing image of US journalist James Foley about to be beheaded, after the tweets sparked widespread controversy online.

The still, taken from a video of the killing of the freelance reporter in Iraq by a masked Islamic State fighter, was posted on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's official account on Thursday.

Below the image of Foley kneeling in an orange boiler suit was a photo of Hamas militants on a motorcycle dragging the body of a person executed for collaborating with Israel through the streets of Gaza.

The combined image was posted a day after Twitter began removing from the micro-blog service the five-minute-long video of Foley's killing entitled "A Message to America," which had been uploaded to social media sites by IS fighters, and images from it.

The clip also included a warning that the group intended to kill a second captive journalist unless the United States halts air strikes in Iraq.

Netanyahu was accused of using the tragedy as propaganda by linking IS with Hamas -- the democratically-elected Islamist government of Gaza currently engaged in a struggle against Israel's deadly 47-day assault.

Human Rights Watch director Kenneth Roth tweeted: "Netanyahu's Twitter account is now using image of James Foley's horrible execution to try to score political points against Hamas."

Israel analyst Mitchell Plitnick wrote: "Bibi (Netanyahu) manages 2 hit a new low."

Senior Hamas official Ezzat al-Rishq wrote on Facebook that "Netanyahu's attempt to link Hamas" with IS was "a deception and disinformation campaign" that showed "no respect for the sanctity of the dead."

But a tweet on the foreign ministry's account @IsraelMFA on Friday featured the same two images, with the words: "Islamist terrorist organizations such as #ISIS and #Hamas are enemies of peace and of all civilized nations."

The Netanyahu tweet was deleted early Friday, and the foreign ministry one was removed later in the day.

A foreign ministry official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that after consideration they had decided it was "inappropriate."

An official in Netanyahu's office, also requesting anonymity, said it was removed following criticism but stood by its stance that "Hamas is like IS -- two murderous terror organizations."

At least 2,097 Palestinians, overwhelmingly civilians, and 68 Israelis, all but 4 of whom were soldiers, have been killed since July 8 in the worst Israeli assault since the 2000-05 intifada.

Ma'an staff contributed to this report.
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1 ) Margaret Gee / UK
23/08/2014 12:47
Sky News in UK has done its bit for Zionism; firstly with several prominent Zionists accusing UK & EU of surge in antisemitism, which is grossly untrue. Secondly Netanyahu was on Sky news UK a few days later saying "Hamas is like having ISIS on our border" the intent of this strategy was obvious; to plant in the minds of Western governments & their electorates that ISIS & Hamas are interchangeable. We who know that Israels IDF are the terrorists will protest this false paradigm

2 ) Maureen / Australia
23/08/2014 13:59
Lunatic Netanyahu originally stated IS should be supported!

3 ) Crystal / Wales
23/08/2014 14:32
Congratulations to PM Netanyahu for bringing attention to the world, just how low he is willing to go to earn chutzpah points for Israel. Even his eternal backer US Gov should be appalled by this latest stunt. This shows just how little regard Bibi has for such an appalling incident, which most of the world (including Hamas) has condemned. Trying to score points like this is cheap & undermines the heroism of journalists like the late James Foley who risk their lives to bring truth to the masses.

4 ) Fifi / Luxembourg
23/08/2014 17:52
Bibi saying Hamas is like ISIS, is like saying Snow White is the Devil incarnate. Hopefully by now at least, some European governments will be able to distinguish between truth & fiction. Pity Israeli citizens can't get rid of the lunatics that run their asylum. Come on US, what about a 'regime change'.

5 ) Mel / USA
23/08/2014 17:54
"...like...ISIS on...border"?Ooo Nutty,U must be terrified,under your"Iron Yamulke"with thousands of rogue-nukes,F16's,1-ton bombs,DU,W/P,DIME weps,cruise-precision mikes, etcetc. Yet, you enjoy passive collusion with Wahhabi Riyadh which funds/arms AQ/IS & indirectly funds the ZionistState(ZS)thru'colluding with its holocaust on Palestine(70yrs)! Pray tell Nutty,have U "deleted"the shots of ROUTINE Saudi "chop-shop"every week?Or is this acceptable whileU,Riyadh&Cairo have X-hairs on M/B,Hamas??

6 ) Jeff / USA
23/08/2014 19:10
Bibi Nutty Yahoo is a lunatic criminal that needs to be removed, along with his entire political party and most of the Knesset. They are terrible people and have brought Israel to new lows in terms of anti-democracy, even though they still somehow claim to be a democracy. What treachery and lies!

7 ) AKeenReader / UK
23/08/2014 21:12
Israel is more like ISIS and NOT hamas for the number of Gazans they have killed in the current operation. They can say what they like but Israeli govts main aim is to kill as many pals mothers, childrens, boys & girls to minimise future palestinian population. They may never admit, but the facts are on the ground for the world to see.

8 ) JoeFattal / USA
23/08/2014 23:33
Netanyahu got to be an idiot to comparing Hamas to ISIS. Its like comparing oranges to apples. I and maybe more people never heard that Hamas is pressuring Christians in Gaza to convert to Islam or die. Never heard that Hamas committed such atrocities to the Iraqi and Syrian civilians as ISIS is committing in Iraq and Syria. Never heard Hamas stoning a woman for adultery as the ISIS did in Syria to that young women. Never seen or heard Hamas beheading anyone. So Netanyahu need to shut up

9 ) JoeFattal / USA
23/08/2014 23:35
cont...and count his blessing that he is not facing ISIS instead of Hamas.

10 ) RealityCheck / The World
24/08/2014 03:06
His only mistake is that the world isn't ready yet for that kind of comparison, they are only now starting to realize just how messed up Islamic fundamentalists really are, give it another year or 2 and people will start to wake up to the reality that hamas isn't a national movement, its more or a fundamentalist religious movement just like Isis, they train for Jihad, they teach kids to blow themselves up and they purposely endanger their own civilians in their quest of reclaiming "Muslim" land.

11 ) gabi / australia
24/08/2014 05:10
yes, Maureen, and Israel originally supported Hamas - which was opposed to Fatah - and the support extended to arming Hamas, financing them, and giving them good press in Israel. Now all that has come back to bite them in the bum . . . !! And it really makes you laugh when Israel, which used terrorism to gain their State, condemns whoever they define for the time being as terrorists - well, they'd know terrorism, wouldn't they? Oh, no, sorry, the Jewish terrorists were "freedom fighters" . . .

12 ) isreali occupation forces / palestine
24/08/2014 17:05
hes affraid that zionist mercenaries will be afraid to enter gaza. the army of little men (iof)

13 ) Mel / USA
24/08/2014 18:11
#10:"RealityCheck"? Reality is relative to sanity dude &even sanity is questionable.You do"realise"right,that all the characteristics of Islamic fundamentalists you described ALSO describe fundamentalist Israeli ZIONISM too! From K-garten to Nat.Milit.Service,Israel kids taught to KILL the goy!"Who wants to kill us" signs on classroom walls(Yeshiva-madrassa's).And 67yrs of ethnic cleansing by Israel,CHOPPING OFF "goy" heads with US-made bombs &missiles.ZionistState(ZS)for "LandofIsrael"!CHECK!

14 ) -Tom / Switzerland
24/08/2014 19:46
Hamas: a land from the river to the sea. Duty of every muslim to kill Jews. Please learn arabic, folks, so you undertand why they will never give up and will fight till the last drop of palestinian civilian blood while the heroic Hamas sit in Qatar or in bunkers with air con. Hamas makes money with every gunshot and every killed palestinian, and is already waiting for European and Qatar funding to buy some more new houses at the beach and renting it to the poor.
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