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Marvel film to feature Israeli 'superhero' Sabra

Users online noted how the term “Sabra” was insensitive due to the massacre of Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila in 1982

Marvel announced on Saturday that it will feature an Israeli "superhero" in its upcoming Captain America: New World Order film.

The Israeli superhero first debuted in the pages of Marvel Comics in 1980 in The Incredible Hulk and is called Sabra. She has several superhuman powers and is the first superhuman agent to serve Mossad, the Israeli Security Agency. According to the Direct, her powers range from superhuman strength, stamina, agility to regenerative healing factor.

However, the controversial announcement has drawn a wave of criticism as pro-Palestine advocates slammed the move as "disgusting".

Users online noted how the term "Sabra" was insensitive due to the massacre of Palestinians in Sabra and Shatila in 1982.

On 16 September 1982, following the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the right-wing Christian Phalange militia stormed the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps in West Beirut and massacred hundreds, maybe thousands, of mostly Palestinian civilians. The Israeli army had surrounded the areas and are said to have provided the Phalangists with bulldozers to bury the corpses of dead Palestinians.

Palestine news director at Mondoweiss wrote: "To say that Israeli superhero named Sabra is problematic and offensive to all Palestinians killed and dispossessed by Israeli colonialism is the understatement of the century."

"The character itself served in the Mossad, which has killed, imprisoned, and ruined the lives of too many Palestinians to count. Th premise of her hero arch also rests on her fighting "Arab terrorists operating on Israel"."

According to Marvel lore, the Israeli superhero was raised on a special Kibbutz run by the Israeli government to "nurture" her abilities and describes herself in cartoons as a "superheroine of the state of Israel!"

READ: The lesson of Sabra and Shatila is far-reaching

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