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Subaru dragged into Palestinian-Israeli row
Friday, April 22, 2011 6:00 AM

Subaru dragged into Palestinian-Israeli row

RAMALLAH: The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has expressed outrage and disapproval against an Israeli advertisement published on websites showing a Japan-made Subaru car hitting two Palestinian children.

Ghassan al-Khatib, chief of the PNA media bureau told China's Xinhua news agency that the PNA complained to the branch of Subaru in Israel for publishing the commercial photo, which mocks the accident of Israeli settler running over stone-throwing children in east Jerusalem seven months ago.

The designer of the advertisement wrote in Hebrew "We'll see who can stand against you." The driver of the car that hit the two Palestinian teens is David Birri, the director general of the settlements association (El'ad).

"Publishing the picture and the commercial is immoral, which is to be condemned and denounced. It is a complete disregard of the life of the Palestinians," said al-Khatib, adding that "it encourages more violence against the Palestinians, including running over Palestinian children."

The PNA had strongly condemned the commercial and had addressed a letter to Subaru branch in Israel, calling on the company to stop publishing this immoral commercial, but the company denied that it is responsible for the commercial and condemned it, al- Khatib said.

Israeli Radio on Thursday quoted a spokesman of Subaru cars company in Israel as saying that the company "has no relation to the commercial or publishing it, and the company had protested against those who are causing harms to the good reputation of the company."

Publishing the commercial had also brought a protest of the Israel peace organisation (Peace Now).

Spokesman of the organisation Hagit Ghufran told Xinhua that "this act is clear evidence that there is fanaticism in the Israeli company, mainly in the areas where there is friction with Palestinians."

"Certainly, such acts and thoughts would lead to more violence, mainly against children. The commercial is an indirect incitement to target them," said Ghufran.

Meanwhile, Khaled Quzmar, from the International Movement to Defend Children said: "This act must be followed in accordance to the law and those who are behind the commercial must be taken to court, but unfortunately, going to the law through Israeli courts is useless because the Israeli courts are serving the occupation which gave a cover to such behaviors."

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party had earlier condemned the publishing of the advertisement, saying that "is a dirty advertisement and propaganda that reached to the status of calling for killing Palestinian children by running over them."

Several similar incidents had outraged the Palestinians in the past, such as publishing pictures on Facebook of Israeli soldiers taking pictures with Palestinian prisoners in the Gaza Strip, while the Palestinian prisoners' eyes are folded and hands cuffed.

One of the pictures published in October on Facebook showed an Israeli soldier pointing a gun at the head of a Palestinian, while another soldier wrote on the wall of a house in the Gaza Strip "we will back soon," and under it he painted the Jewish star of David.

The Israeli television showed a film, where Israeli soldiers were dancing near a detained Palestinian woman who was eye-folded and handcuffed. A female soldier was also shown on Facebook standing near Palestinian prisoners.

The Israelis and Palestinians usually trade accusations over incitement, where Israel had repeatedly accused the Palestinians of showing films and songs on televisions that incite for violence against Israel.

Mutual incitement is one of the issues discussed in the stalled peace negotiations.


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