(JTA) — An Israeli official has accused the Russian newspaper Pravda of spreading “sick, racist lies” after it published an article accusing Israel of injecting Palestinian prisoners with “dangerous viruses.”
The online edition of Pravda reported Friday that Israeli authorities injected the prisoners with the viruses ahead of their release, and that they cause “bladder cancer and liver disorders.”
The alleged practice has been “brought to light” by a Palestinian released from Israeli jails identified as Rania Saqa, the Moscow-based publication wrote in the article, which refers to Israel’s government as “the Tel Aviv regime.”
“This is a racist, lowly and repulsive lie based solely on its authors’ sick imagination,” Yigal Palmor, a senior spokesman for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told JTA. “Those who know fascist propaganda will easily recognize its distinct characteristics in this crude lie spread by Pravda.”
Founded in 2012, Pravda — which means “truth” in Russian — served as a mouthpiece for the communist regime until its fall in 1991, when it was shuttered before reopening in 1997. Its print edition has approximately 100,000 readers.