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Major Canadian News Outlet Apologizes After Airing Gaza War Footage During Hanukkah Story

Israel’s military operates in the Gaza Strip during a temporary truce between Israel and the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, in this handout picture released on Nov. 27, 2023. Photo: Israel Defense Forces/Handout via REUTERS

CTV News Toronto has issued an on-air apology after the Canadian broadcaster showed footage of the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza while airing a report on how the local community in Toronto was preparing to celebrate the first night of Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights.

“We mistakenly aired images of the war in the Middle East while reporting on the beginning of Hanukkah,” CTV News anchor Zuraidah Alman said in the apology on Thursday. “We are deeply sorry that this occurred during our coverage of this important and special event.”

The news outlet blamed a “technical issue” for the war footage being aired.

Today, a @CTVToronto story was broadcast about Chanukah but included images and footage of the war in #Israel instead of what should have obviously been the proper holiday content. @CTVToronto apologized on air during the 5 and 6 p.m. broadcasts and the segment has been fixed.…

— CIJA (@CIJAinfo) December 8, 2023

Earlier in the day, CTV News aired a noon-hour news story on how Toronto was going to observe the start of Hanukkah that night, highlighting the lighting of a large menorah at Mel Lastman Square.

However, as a reporter was discussing the local Jewish community’s plans for the holiday, the news segment showed footage of the war in Gaza between Israel and the Hamas terror group for about 20-25 seconds.

CTV in Toronto did a story about how Hanukkah is celebrated in the city.

Somebody working there couldn’t take a Jewish holiday being celebrated so he sabotaged the report

— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) December 7, 2023

Jewish and pro-Israel groups decried what appeared to be an attempt to link Israel’s defensive war against Hamas terrorists in Gaza to Jewish holiday celebrations halfway around the world.

“What is this, @CTVToronto? Is there no time delay for live broadcasts?” B’nai Brith Canada, a Jewish human rights organization, wrote on X/Twitter. “Which employee made the editorial decision to link the war against Hamas in Gaza to the Jewish holiday of Chanukah? Please explain why anyone should believe this was not a premeditated act of #antisemitism.”

HonestReporting Canada, an organization that promotes fairness and accuracy in Canadian media coverage of Israel and the Middle East, lodged a complaint with CTV News after the segment aired.

“In what should have been a happy segment, one which focuses on the story of Hanukkah, light triumphing over darkness, viewers instead were treated to a segment, which insinuated that Jews are collectively intertwined and responsible for the war in Gaza,” HonestReporting Canada wrote of the incident on its website.

According to the world’s leading definition of antisemitism by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance, holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel is antisemitic.

Despite CTV News’ apology, many observers suspected the airing of the war footage was deliberate.

“I feel there was a deliberate sabotage act on Hanukkah,” Olga Goldberg, who was attending Thursday’s opening night of the menorah lighting, told the Toronto Sun. She added that it felt like the video was “intentionally placed” to demonize Jewish people.

Thursday’s segment came three days after CTV News anchor Omar Sachedina introduced a story by suggesting a peaceful rally of Jewish and pro-Israel activists was “in support of the war” in Gaza.

“In Ottawa, thousands of Jewish Canadians rallied on Parliament Hill in support of the war while inside Parliament, Palestinian Canadians made a plea for help,” Sachedina said, setting up the news story for a reporter in the field.

A CTV anchor falsely claimed the peaceful Rally for the Jewish People was a rally in support of the war.

This is a prime example of why a growing number of people hate mainstream media. Do better, @CTVNews

— Beth Baisch (@BethBaisch) December 5, 2023

At the rally, demonstrators said they were showing solidarity with the people of Israel and the hostages and victims from Hamas’ Oct. 7 massacre across southern Israeli communities. Hamas terrorists’ surprise invasion of Israel and murderous rampage — in which 1,200 people were killed and 240 abducted — launched the current war in Gaza.

“We are deeply disturbed by @CTVNews misrepresenting yesterday’s peaceful ‘Rally for the Jewish People’ in Ottawa that was attended by thousands of Jews, including students and Holocaust survivors, as being pro-war,” the group Friends of Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies posted on X/Twitter. “The poignant pleas from the families of those held hostage by Hamas, as well as those whose loved ones were murdered, were anything but. We call for a retraction and an apology.”

CTV News has yet to comment on the incident.

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Russia Extends Invitation to Palestinian Factions for Talks in Moscow

Russian President Vladimir Putin delivers a speech during a session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. Photo: Reuters/Maxim Shemetov

i24 NewsRussia has extended invitations to various Palestinian factions, including Hamas and Fatah, for discussions on the Israel-Hamas conflict and broader issues in the Middle East.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov announced the initiative on Friday, highlighting Moscow’s desire to engage with all major players in the region amid heightened tensions.

The invitation included a dozen Palestinian groups and is slated for “inter-Palestinian” talks scheduled to commence on February 29.

Bogdanov, serving as President Vladimir Putin’s special envoy for the Middle East, emphasized the inclusivity of the invitation, stating, “We invited all Palestinian representatives — all political forces that have their positions in different countries, including Syria, Lebanon, and other countries in the region.”

Among the invitees are Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, alongside representatives of Fatah and the broader Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

The invitation comes at a critical juncture as the Israel-Hamas conflict continues to escalate, drawing international attention and concern. Russia’s proactive stance in convening discussions reflects its growing criticism of Israel and its Western allies, underscoring Moscow’s efforts to assert its influence in the region.

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Netanyahu: Those Who Want us to Desist from Rafah Op Are Telling Us to Lose

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a press conference with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Cabinet Minister Benny Gantz in the Kirya military base in Tel Aviv, Israel, Oct. 28, 2023. Photo: ABIR SULTAN POOL/Pool via REUTERS

i24 NewsHamas drops its “delusional” demands, productive hostage talks could begin, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Saturday, stressing Israel would not agree to the terror group’s current demands.

WATCH: PM Netanyahu delivers a statement after Hamas suspended negotiations

— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) February 17, 2024

“I insist that Hamas should abandon its delusional demands – and when it does, we will be able to move forward,” Netanyahu said in a statement live on TV.

“Those who want us to desist from the Rafah operation,” the leader said in an apparent reference to the U.S. administration of President Joe Biden, “are telling us we should lose. We won’t be dictated to.”

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Iran Unveils New Air Defense Weaponry

Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad-Reza Ashtiani speaks at a press conference during the unveiling of a new surface-to-surface 4th generation Khorramshahr ballistic missile. Photo: Reuters/West Asia News Agency

i24 NewsIran demonstrated new weaponry on Saturday, including what it said was the locally made Arman anti-ballistic missile system and the Azarakhsh low-altitude air defense system, said the official IRNA news agency. Saturday’s unveiling ceremony of the two vehicle-mounted systems was held in the presence of Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani.

“With the entry of new systems into the country’s defense network, the air defense capability of the Islamic Republic of Iran will increase significantly,” said IRNA.

Video of the new Azarakhsh SHORAD engaging a target drone

It’s radar has a detection range of 50km, with 25km for it’s EO/IR suite

— Iran Defense|نیروهای مسلح جمهوری اسلامی ایران (@IranDefense) February 17, 2024

The Arman missile system is said to be able to “simultaneously confront six targets at a distance of 120 to 180 km,” while the Azarakhsh missile system “can identify and destroy targets up to a range of 50 km with four ready-to-fire missiles.”

The announcement comes amid tensions across the Middle East, with Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis attacking vessels linked to the United States, UK and Israel in the Red Sea in a show of solidarity with the Gaza Strip.

Iran unveils domestically-manufactured Arman anti-ballistic missile and Azarakhsh low-altitude air defense system

— Press TV (@PressTV) February 17, 2024

The U.S. and its allies in the Middle East are concerned with Iran’s growing role at the international global arms market, The Wall Street Journal said on Friday. The transformation of the industry, boosted by Russia’s “purchase of thousands of drones that altered the battlefield in Ukraine, has helped Tehran scale up its support of militia allies in Middle East conflicts,” read the report.

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