February 14, 2020 / 7:09 PM / 14 days ago

Israeli mayor orders Palestinian 'surrender' billboards removed

A billboard over a Tel Aviv highway shows photo-shopped warzone images of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, both blindfolded, with the slogan read in Hebrew "Peace is Made ONLY with Defeated Enemies", Tel Aviv, Israel February 14, 2020 REUTERS/Corinna Kern

TEL AVIV (Reuters) - The mayor of Tel Aviv ordered the removal on Friday of highway billboards that appeared to call for the surrender at gunpoint of Palestinian leaders for the sake of peace.

“Peace is made ONLY with defeated enemies,” said the billboards, which showed photo-shopped images of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh, blindfolded and supplicating in a war-zone as helicopters hover.

Israel’s stand-off with the Palestinians has grown newly tense since last month’s unveiling of U.S. President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan, which they rejected as biased.

It was not immediately clear who sponsored the billboards around Tel Aviv, Israel’s commercial capital, or if the campaign was meant to help rightist parties in a March 2 national election.

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said in a statement that the billboards would be removed, saying that their image “incites violence and recalls the actions of ISIS and the Nazis - whom we do not want to counted among”.

“Even in election season, there are red lines,” he said.

Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Alex Richardson

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