IDF razes Palestinian pizzeria in West Bank after ad mocks elderly hostage in Gaza

Shop apologizes for flyer, claims someone else published it without its knowledge; owner reportedly arrested

The IDF demolishes a pizzeria in Huwara that posted an ad mocking an elderly woman taken hostage by terrorists into Gaza on October 12, 2023. (Screen capture/X)
The IDF demolishes a pizzeria in Huwara that posted an ad mocking an elderly woman taken hostage by terrorists into Gaza on October 12, 2023. (Screen capture/X)

The Israel Defense Forces on Thursday demolished a pizzeria in the northern West Bank town of Huwara after it posted an ad online that included a photo of an elderly Israeli Holocaust survivor who was taken hostage by terrorists in Gaza.

The ad, posted to the establishment’s Facebook page, featured an undated photo of the woman making a victory sign alongside a pizza with the message to customers “You are welcome.” An accompanying text message featured many laughing emojis.

Settlers got wind of the ad and began gathering around the shop, calling for it to be demolished. The IDF arrived at the scene and a decision was made to shut it down. An IDF bulldozer razed the front of the shop and it was to be subsequently sealed by the army.

According to Channel 12 news, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was personally involved in the move.

Central Command head Yehuda Fox signed a military order directing the pizzeria to be closed for five months due to incitement and support for terror activities.

The owner of the pizzeria was also detained, according to Hebrew media reports.

Meanwhile, the pizzeria itself posted an apology on its Facebook page, claiming someone else had published the ad without its knowledge in order to harm the shop. “We are against harming men and women and just want to earn a living with dignity and live in peace with everyone. We are very sorry to the members of our family and others who were hurt.”

Israel is closely monitoring events in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and on its northern border seven days into a war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip following the terror group’s shock assault on Israel on Saturday in which terrorists infiltrated Israeli communities and massacred civilians within. As of Friday, the death toll stood at 1,300 dead, the vast majority of them civilians.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority health ministry said on Thursday that two Palestinians were killed after Israeli settlers opened fire on a funeral procession near the West Bank town of Qusra, south of Nablus.

According to the Palestinian Authority’s WAFA news agency, ambulances were carrying the bodies of four Palestinians shot dead a day earlier, reportedly also by Israeli settlers in Qusra, when settlers arrived at the scene and attempted to halt the funeral procession, with gunfire ensuing.

The military said the incidents were under investigation.

There have been repeated incidents over the past year of young West Bank settlers violently raiding villages in rampages that have led to a handful of Palestinian deaths, scores of injuries and significant property damage.

The assailants are rarely arrested or prosecuted for their actions.

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