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Israeli embassy removes social media video imagining Hamas attack in Seoul

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The Israeli embassy in South Korea has removed a video showing an imaginary scenario in which Koreans are attacked by masked assailants in Seoul, a reference to Hamas, Seoul’s foreign ministry said Thursday.

The ministry said in a statement sent to AFP that the video was deemed “inappropriate” and that it had asked the Israeli embassy to take it down.

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The video, which is no longer available on the embassy’s social media, depicted a distressing scenario in which a South Korean woman in the capital is abducted by an armed assailant on Christmas Day, and forcibly separated from her young daughter, a clip published by South Korean broadcaster YTN showed.

The Israeli embassy wrote, alongside the now-removed video posted on its Facebook account on Tuesday: “On October 7th, Israel was attacked by Hamas terrorists. 1,200 men, women and children were killed, and over 240 people were taken hostage in Gaza.”

“Imagine if it happened to you. What would you do?” it added.

South Korea remains technically at war with nuclear-armed North Korea, as their 1950-53 military conflict ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty.

YTN reported that Israel’s ambassador in Seoul Akiva Tor said in a social media post that has since been deleted: “We have reconstructed the horrifying terrorist incident that took place on October 7th to help South Koreans in East Asia, far away from Israel, understand the current war situation.”

Israel has repeatedly vowed to keep up its campaign to destroy Palestinian militant group Hamas in retaliation for its bloody October 7 attack, which left about 1,140 people dead, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.

Palestinian militants also took around 250 hostages, 129 of whom remain in captivity, Israel says.

Israel’s relentless bombardment and ground invasion of the Gaza Strip have killed at least 21,110 people, mostly women and children, according to the latest toll from Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry.

“The killing and kidnapping of Israeli civilians by Hamas cannot be justified, but the Israeli Embassy’s production and distribution of a video drawing parallels to the security situation in another country was deemed inappropriate,” South Korea’s foreign ministry said in the statement.

“We have conveyed our position to the Israeli Embassy in South Korea, and the Israeli side has taken measures to delete the video in question.”

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