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7 Oct, 2023 20:15

Germany’s Bild tries to link Putin to Hamas assault on Israel

The leading German daily has appeared to make a far-fetched assertion about Russian president’s birthday
Germany’s Bild tries to link Putin to Hamas assault on Israel

Germany’s Bild newspaper has appeared to connect Russian President Vladimir Putin’s birthday to the start of Saturday’s escalation between Palestinian militant group Hamas and Israel.

The bizarre link was made by the daily in a pro-Israel editorial, penned by the Chair of Bild’s editorial team Marion Horn and titled ‘No more German money for these barbarians!’

“This dastardly attack comes on Putin’s birthday and 50 years after the start of the Yom Kippur War, launched by Israel’s Arab neighbors with the aim of destroying Israel,” the editorial reads.

The Yom Kippur War between Israel and a coalition of Arab states led by Egypt and Syria was fought from October 6 to 25 in 1973, ultimately resulting in a major Israeli victory. Russia’s president, indeed, is celebrating his 71st birthday on Saturday, yet it is not clear how exactly this fact was relevant to the ongoing escalation in the Middle East.

Russia has urged both sides in the conflict to exercise restraint and cease hostilities, sticking to diplomacy instead. “We call on the Palestinian and Israeli sides for an immediate ceasefire, renunciation of violence, exercising necessary restraint and for the launch, with the assistance of the international community, of a negotiation process aimed at establishing a comprehensive, lasting and much-awaited peace in the Middle East,” Russian Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement earlier in the day.

The new flare-up between Hamas and Israel began early on Saturday, when the Palestinian militant group launched a surprise attack from Gaza, breaching the border with Israel at multiple points and firing barrages of rockets into the country. The militants managed to seize control of multiple locations in southern Israel, and killed or captured Israeli soldiers and civilians alike, footage circulating online suggests. Hamas claims it’s taken “a big number” of Israeli soldiers prisoner, including high-ranking officers.

Israel retaliated with airstrikes on Gaza and announced mobilization of military reservists. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu said the country was already at “war,” promising that the “enemy will pay a price like they have never known before.”