A report by a fake Pakistani news site about an Israeli nuclear threat demonstrates the potential danger of such fabrications.
A fake news story has touched off a tense Twitter confrontation between nuclear power Pakistan and Israel, widely believed to have a nuclear arsenal of its own, in an episode that underlines the potentially harmful impact of such stories in sensitive global affairs
In an apparent response to a fake story claiming that Israel’s former defense minister threatened a nuclear attack against Pakistan if it sends troops to Syria, Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif reminded Israel that “Pakistan is a nuclear state too.”
The report quotes Israel’s former defense minister, Moshe Ya’alon, as saying that “as far as we are concerned, that is a threat, if, by misfortune, they arrive in Syria, we will know what to do, we will destroy them with a nuclear attack.”
The report did not mention that Ya’alon no longer has the capacity to issue such threats, as he had left office in May.
Israel’s Defense Ministry tweeted back Saturday, saying the original story on the site AWD News was “totally fictitious.”
AWD has been identified by fact-checking organizations as a fake news site.
Israel maintains a policy of nuclear ambiguity, neither confirming nor denying the existence of an arsenal. Pakistan became a nuclear power in 1998. The countries have no diplomatic ties.
There was no immediate reaction from Pakistan to Israel’s response.
Eran Cicurel, an Israeli journalist, addressing Asif, tweeted that it is a ” bit troubling that you don’t know Moshe Yaalon is no longer” Israel’s defense minister.
By: AP and World Israel News Staff