Israel calls for dismissal of U.N. agency tweeter

JTA

JERUSALEM — Israel’s ambassador to the United Nations has called for the dismissal of a U.N. agency employee based in Jerusalem who tweeted an incendiary photo during recent violence between Gaza and Israel.

Khulood Badawi, the information and media coordinator for the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Jerusalem, on March 10 tweeted a photo showing a dead Palestinian girl covered in blood in the arms of her father, which read “Palestine is bleeding … another father killed by #Israel … another father carrying his child to a grave in #Gaza.” 

The photo was later identified as a 2006 Reuters photo; the girl in the photo had died in a playground or car accident, according to various reports, including information supplied by the news agency.

“She was not killed by Israeli forces,” Ron Prosor, Israel’s ambassador to the U.N., wrote in a letter to the U.N. emergency coordinator, Valerie Amos. In the letter he called for Badawi’s immediate dismissal.

Prosor wrote that Badawi’s actions not only “violate conduct expected of a UN official,” but that she also “actively engaged in the demonization of Israel, a member state of the United Nations. Such actions contribute to incitement, conflict and, ultimately, violence,” according to Fox News., which obtained a copy of the letter.

“Although Ms. Badawi’s portrayal of this photo was clearly a blatant falsehood, her post became the top tweet for anything related to Gaza on Twitter,”   Prosor added.

Amos replied that the opinions expressed in Badawi’s Twitter account do not reflect the views of her agency and are not endorsed by the agency. Badawi will remain employed by the agency during an internal investigation, Fox reported. 

Badawi has neither retracted nor apologized for her inaccurate tweet.

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