The image was posted to Fatah's official Facebook page
Contacted by CNN, a Fatah official said the party wants the photo removed
It's the latest controversial image from Palestinian Authority President Abbas' party
The political party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas posted a drawn image online showing a large pile of skulls and skeletons with Jewish stars on them.
An Israeli government spokesman called it “despicable.”
Along with the image, posted Wednesday to the Facebook page of the Fatah party, are the words “lingering on your skulls.”
When contacted by CNN on Friday, a member of the Fatah Central Committee disavowed the image.
“Fatah did not design this image,” Mahmoud al-Aloul said. The person who posted it to Fatah’s page “is currently being asked to remove it. The image and the text do not reflect the opinions of Fatah.” The image was then pulled from the page.
The image, which also includes a rifle and the Fatah flag, quickly drew the ire of some people who saw it on social media. Some, including Ofir Gendelman, spokesman for Israel’s Prime Minister, pointed to it as a sign that Fatah is not as “moderate” as it’s often described.
Fatah is considered the more moderate of the two major Palestinian political parties. Hamas, which controls Gaza, has engaged in repeated battles with Israel in recent years. Fatah controls the West Bank.
(“Fatah may not be moderate, but relative to Hamas, it is restrained,” Michael Rubin of the American Enterprise Institute said in congressional testimony in 2013.)
The image was posted as part of an online celebration of Fatah’s 50th anniversary. The group was founded on January 1, 1965, carrying out its first major attack against Israel.
Ehud Yaari of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy called the latest image “typical of their ongoing propaganda.”
It’s not the first time Fatah Facebook images have sparked anger. After three Israeli teens were kidnapped and killed last year, “The Facebook page for Fatah, the Palestinian Authority’s main party, had a number of cartoons, including one showing the three teenagers as Jewish rats, wearing yarmulkes, caught on a fishing line,” world affairs columnist Frida Ghitis wrote on CNN.com.
CNN’s Irene Nasser in Jerusalem contributed to this report.