28 January 2019Copyright

Israeli PM candidate accused of ‘stealing’ footage of Gaza war

A Palestinian media company has accused former Israeli general and prime minister candidate, Benny Gantz, of “stealing” footage to promote the “destruction of Gaza”, according to reports.

Ashraf Mashharawi, CEO of the company, said that the “stolen images were used to boast about the murder and destruction ... committed in Gaza”, The Telegraph  reported.

Gantz, who leads the Hosen L’Yisrael (Israel Resilience) party, is contesting the upcoming elections to the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in April.

He was the chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces  from 2011 to 2015, and oversaw Israeli operations during the 2014 war in Gaza.

On January 20, his campaign released a YouTube  video using drone footage shot by Media Town, a Palestinian documentary producer, depicting Gaza in the wake of the conflict.

The Palestinian territory endured a barrage of airstrikes and artillery fire during the war. According to a United Nations report, 1,462 Palestinian civilians were killed.

Media Town has accused Gantz of “stealing” the footage and using it without its permission.

The company has submitted a complaint of copyright infringement to YouTube, the report said. According to The Telegraph, the footage was exclusively licensed to the BBC.

The war, named in Israel as Operation Protective Edge , began in July 2014 after the Israeli government claimed that Hamas, the ruling authority in Gaza, had abducted three Israeli teenagers. Hamas denied any involvement with the kidnappings.

The Knesset elections will take place on April 9. Gantz is seeking to unseat incumbent prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been in office since 2009.

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