Israeli Newscaster regrets Facebook comments after deaths in Gaza

Not less than 18 Palestinians were killed on Friday when Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian rallies demanding the return of refugees near Gaza border, sparking criticisms from a popular TV host on Israel’s Army Radio who boldly protested the killings on social media saying he was “ashamed” to be an Israeli citizen.

Kobi Meidan.jpg

Image: Kobi Meidan

In his Facebook comment, Kobi Meidan wrote: “Today, I’m ashamed to be Israeli.”

Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Monday that Friday’s rallies were the start of a six-week protest that culminates on May 15, the day the Palestinians observe as “Nakba”, or “Catastrophe”, when Israel was created.

The news outlet confirmed that demonstrators are demanding that Palestinian refugees be allowed the right of return to towns and villages which their families fled from — or were driven out of — as at the time State of Israel was created in 1948.

At least 1,500 Palestinians have sustained injuries from Israeli gunfire during the protests, the Palestinian Health Ministry said in a report. The violent response from Israeli army against Palestinian protests has attracted huge backlash from the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who suggested an independent and transparent investigation into the deaths along Gaza border.

In his anger for Meidan’s courageous Facebook post, radio commander Shimon Elkabetz ordered his removal from the job and ensured that the radio program was taken off air.

Meidan now claims he didn’t have full details of the violent clash on Friday when he made the social media statement.

A couple of top Israeli ministers have also called for his resignation although there’s a chance he will keep the job, according to the Times of Israel.

The radio station has been confirmed to be a largely independent body despite being under military auspices.