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German counterintel. chief apologizes to Tel Aviv over wiping Israel off map

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks before a map of the Jordan Valley as he gives a statement in Ramat Gan, near Tel Aviv, on September 10, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

The head of Germany’s Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD) has rushed to issue an extraordinary statement of apology to the Tel Aviv regime after the agency deleted the Israeli-occupied territories on a map printed in its report.

The Cologne-based intelligence agency said on Thursday that the initial draft of its 2019 annual report erroneously depicted Israel in the same color as neighboring Jordan.

“I intensively exchanged views on this mistake in a personal conversation with the responsible employees,” Dr. Christof Gramm, the President of MAD wrote in an email to Israeli English-language daily newspaper the Jerusalem Post.

“I regret this incident deeply and expressly apologize,” he added, noting that the agency’s duties include combating anti-Semitism and extremism within the German military.

Peter Weier, a spokesman for the MAD, also said, “After the first tip, we immediately corrected this error and checked how it could have happened. Inadequate care and inadequate quality control have led to this error.”

“There are currently no indications of deliberate action or a political background,” he asserted.

Earlier, Germany’s Defense Ministry had explained that the error was a product of a “software" problem in a post published on its Twitter page on Wednesday.

The development comes as Germany banned the Lebanese Hezbollah resistance movement on its soil and designated the group a "terrorist" organization late last month, in a move long urged by Israel and the United States.

The Federal Ministry of the Interior said on April 30 that police conducted raids in Germany to detain suspected members of the anti-Israel group.

The ministry said in a statement that the ban means Hezbollah symbols cannot be shown at gatherings and in publications or in the media and Hezbollah assets can be seized.

Speaking in a televised speech broadcast live from the Lebanese capital city of Beirut on Monday afternoon, the Hezbollah secretary general roundly denounced Germany’s banning of his group and its designation as a terrorist organization, saying the move was taken under pressure from Israel and the US.

“Germany’s decision to ban Hezbollah on its soil was anticipated as it was made as a result of US pressure. The German government’s accusations against Hezbollah are unsubstantiated since it has failed to present any convincing proof of terrorist acts allegedly attributed to the movement,” Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said.

He added that Berlin follows what Washington and Tel Aviv dictate to it in their radical rhetoric against Hezbollah, adding that the German government’s accusations “of promoting armed struggle through terrorist means,” which have been leveled against the Lebanese resistance movement, are totally baseless.

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