A billboard in Tel Aviv will use Israeli-Palestinian images to promote the “breakdown of the walls” between the two countries.
The ad, titled “Peace between Israelis and Palestinians”, was unveiled on Thursday, with the words “Peace” above a map of the West Bank and “Palestine” below it.
The billboard, in Hebrew, reads: “We are a country of peace, we are a people of peace.
And we are not divided, not broken, not torn, not in danger.
We are united in our faith and love of the Palestinian people.
The walls are broken, the walls are closed, and there is hope for peace.”
The billboard was launched in Tel Hashomer, the largest of Israel’s “security zones” outside of Jerusalem.
“The goal of the campaign is to encourage peace between Israelis, Palestinians and all of Israel, and to break down the wall between us,” said Eyal Ben-Ari, head of the Israel Land Coalition.
“This is a message that we are together, we do not want peace with terrorists, and we will never give up on the idea of peace.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was quick to condemn the billboard, saying it “will further divide our people and the world”.
“Israel has been waging a military occupation for decades, and has violated all international agreements, including the 1967 lines,” he said in a statement.
“We call on all sides to respect the rights of Palestinians in their daily life, including in the West bank, and refrain from attacks on the Israeli citizens of the State of Israel.”
In response, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been in office since 2005, said he “condemns this provocation against Israel” and that the “disturbing” ad “shows a clear and unequivocal stance against Israel’s policy of dividing the Palestinian community”.
“This is the first time I’ve seen such an act, and I will not tolerate it, and will act against it,” Netanyahu said.
“If there is a problem between us, I will be willing to work with whoever has the strength to confront it.”
The prime minister also slammed the international community, accusing it of having “turned its back on the Palestinian cause”.
“I am disappointed that the international world is failing to address the issues facing the Palestinian population, and is instead continuing to allow Israel to keep on expanding its borders,” he added.
“The international community should be demanding accountability for this blatant violation of international law.”