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Netanyahu spreads fake news to incite against Palestinian citizens

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) in Washington, US on 6 March 2018 [Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been accused of spreading “fake news” in order to incite against Palestinian citizens, after the premier shared a widely-debunked story on Facebook.

According to the Times of Israel, Netanyahu posted to his Facebook page a news story from a right-wing news site, which claimed fans of Bnei Sakhnin “whistled and booed” during a minute silence held before a league match Saturday in memory of ten teenagers killed in a hiking accident.

“An utter disgrace,” Netanyahu wrote yesterday along with a link to the article. “I expect that all public leaders, Jews and non-Jews, to forcefully condemn this embarrassing behaviour.”

However, the team – which hails from a Palestinian town in the Galilee – angrily hit back at the report, saying no such thing happened.

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“It is very worrying that the prime minister rushed to respond to lies and to respond to those who are seeking to spread abuse and lies,” a club spokesperson said in a statement, accusing Netanyahu of “trampl[ing] on the difficult pain of the families for the purpose of dividing Israeli society.”

In addition, both the Israeli football league and soccer league and members of the opposing team “all maintained that there had been no disruption” by fans.

“Following a careful check that we did, that included video from the game, the report by the referee, and conversations with those who were on the field, we found no indication of booing and even less so of ‘wild unrestrained behaviour’ or demonstrations of joy during the minute of silence in memory of those who died in the flash flood,” a league spokesperson said.

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