IDF removes fake photo of Gaza mall from blog

Army had initially included the photograph of the fancy mall in Malaysia in order to show there's no humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

August 15, 2013 16:38
1 minute read.
Picture of Malaysian mall mistakenly presented as Gaza mall on IDF blog

Picture of Malaysian mall on IDF blog 370. (photo credit: IDF blog)

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.

A Palestinian woman leaves a newly opened shopping mall in Gaza City July 20, 2010 (Reuters)

“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.

The 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.

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