The IDF on Thursday removed from its blog a photograph of a Malaysian mall that
it had incorrectly labeled as the Gaza Mall in Gaza City.
“It was an
innocent mistake,” the IDF said in response. “The picture was removed when we
learned [of the error].”
It added that 17 other accurate photographs were
posted on the website.
The IDF initially included a photograph of an
upscale mall in Malaysia in a post on life in Gaza, designed to show that there
is no humanitarian crisis in the strip.
“Despite what you may hear from
the media, Gaza is not an ‘open-air prison.’ This summer, Gazans are out in
force, enjoying themselves in beautiful beaches and hotels, and doing their
shopping in pristine grocery stores and markets heaving with fresh
produce. Gaza even boasts an Olympic-size swimming pool,” the IDF wrote
in a blog post on Monday.
“Here are some of the places you can visit in
Gaza on an ordinary summer’s day,” it continued, showcasing small slideshows
with pictures of Gazan beaches, hotels, shops and night life venues.
photo on the blog of a multi-story Malaysian mall in Kuala Lampur bore a caption
that identified the structure as being in Gaza and stated, “The shopping mall,
for the latest fashion from overseas.”
The incorrect post was first
publicized on Wednesday in a blog by Ali Abunimah, a Palestinian American who is
the the co-founder of the Electronic Intifada. In his blog on the Electronic
Intifada website, he showed a photograph of the mall from Kuala Lampur, so that
readers could see how it matched the IDF photograph.
On Thursday, the IDF
removed the photograph from its site, but kept in place the blog post depicting
life in Gaza.
At the top of the post, the IDF wrote a correction which
stated, “A photo previously included in this article was incorrectly sourced. It
has been removed.” It also posted the same message on Twitter.