23:59 GMT15 June 2021
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    The ad reportedly had an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 views and came amid a slew of other adverts that condemned lawmakers opposing Israeli strikes.

    Facebook has refused to take down an ad claiming that Democratic Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has links to Hamas, saying they were acceptable.

    The Washington Post reported that Omar’s office urged Facebook to remove the ad, which was produced by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobbying group.

    Facebook spokesman Andy Stone told The Washington Post that the company had reviewed the ads and deemed them acceptable under its policies.

    One of the ads says "when Israel targets Hamas, Rep. Omar calls it an act of terrorism", in an apparent reference to a tweet by Omar who called Israeli strikes in Gaza an “act of terrorism”.

    "Israeli air strikes killing civilians in Gaza is an act of terrorism. Palestinians deserve protection", she wrote. "Unlike Israel, missile defense programs, such as Iron Dome, don’t exist to protect Palestinian civilians. It’s unconscionable to not condemn these attacks on the week of Eid".

    Omar told Facebook that previous images of this sort had resulted in her receiving death threats, adding that the ad "peddles both hate speech and misinformation".

    On Thursday evening, Israel and Hamas agreed to an Egypt-brokered ceasefire, 11 days after the beginning of violent clashes in East Jerusalem. The hostilities were triggered by court rulings to evict Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of the city and a ban on Palestinians visiting certain holy sites during Ramadan, which led to the worst violence between Israel and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip in recent years.

    Palestinian militants launched several thousand rockets toward Israel, which then conducted retaliatory strikes against targets in Gaza. In Israel, 12 people were killed and over 50 were seriously wounded during the flare-up, while the Palestinian death toll stands at over 240, with more than 1,900 people injured.

    Tags:
    Ilhan Omar, Hamas, Palestine, Israel, US, Facebook
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