The local Twitter universe in Israel lit up like a five alarm fire Monday morning after the English website of Israel Hayom tweeted that US President Donald Trump, suffering from coronavirus, had been transferred to an ICU unit at Walter Reed Hospital and signed over power of the presidency to Vice President Mike Pence.
Frantic journalists and Twitter followers scoured the Internet to search for confirmation to the report, since the Sheldon Adelson-owned newspaper has close ties to the Trump administration and a tweet of such magnitude couldn't be ignored. One tweet in response called the information "an atomic bomb."
However, within minutes the tweet had been deleted and soon after, Israel Hayom announced that its site had been hacked and that the tweet about Trump was a fraud.
Israel Hayom put out a statement saying that "Israel Hayom's English-language Twitter account, @IsraelHayomEng, was hacked on Monday, at around 10.30 a.m. (local time)
"The hacker blocked the news desk's access to the account and has tweeted several untrue posts, including a false status update about the health of US President Donald Trump.
"We apologize for this incident and are acting to swiftly regain control of our Twitter account."
Other tweets had been inserted in its feed as well, including one about a Hezbollah submarine being found off the Haifa coast.