08:13 GMT01 March 2021
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    The United Kingdom watchdog agency Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) banned an Israeli tourism advertisement presenting the Old City of Jerusalem as being part of Israel. The ASA ruled the advertisment would mislead readers by showing the Old City walls next to the text "Israel has it all."

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The United Kingdom watchdog agency Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) on Wednesday banned an Israeli tourism advertisement it says implies the Old City of Jerusalem is a part of Israel.

    The ASA ruled the leaflet would mislead readers by showing the Old City walls next to the text "Israel has it all."

    "We considered that readers would regard the ad as presenting the Old City of Jerusalem as being part of Israel. However, we understood that the status of the territories in question was the subject of much international dispute," the watchdog said, in the ruling posted on their official website.

    Israel controls the UNESCO World Heritage Site after occupying East Jerusalem in 1967 and annexing the area in 1980. The United Nations does not recognize the annexation. The international community considers East Jerusalem to be an integral part of occupied Palestinian territory.

    It is not the first time the watchdog has banned an Israeli ad. In 2010, it barred a newspaper advert implying travelers could visit the Wailing Wall and the Temple Mount, important religious sites located in the Old City of Jerusalem, during their stay in Israel.

    The Israel Ministry of Tourism expressed unconcern for the criticism.

    "It is entirely accurate to assert that a visitor to Israel could visit Jerusalem as part of a short visit. Had the ad omitted a reference to a visit to the city of Jerusalem, it would have been incorrect and potentially misleading," their official response said.

    In 2012, the ASA blocked an advertisement in the UK press of a book promoting tourism in Northern Israel. The ad included a map suggesting the Golan Heights were part of Israel.

    In 2009, the watchdog criticized another Israeli tourism advertisement campaign in the London Underground featuring the images of the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the disputed territory of the Golan Heights.

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