The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) demolished a pizzeria in West Bank's Huwara town in Palestine on Thursday after it posted an ad on social media showing an elderly Israeli woman taken hostage by Hamas during its surprise attack on October 7. The advert went viral on Israeli social media, following which settlers in West Bank reportedly demanded it be demolished.
The controversial advert was posted on Eiffel Bakery and Supermarket's Facebook page. It used the photo of the woman flashing a victory sign alongside a pizza. The accompanying text stated, "You are welcome," and featured laughing emojis.
Following the uproar, the IDF arrived at the scene and demolished the establishment. The premises were subsequently sealed by the military and the owner of the pizzeria was detained, according to local reports. Videos circulated on social media showed a bulldozer razing the pizzeria.
Watch the video below
Eiffel Bakery and Supermarket posted an apology on Facebook stating that the ad was posted by someone else to damage its reputation, the Times of Israel reported.
“We are against harming men and women and just want to earn a living with dignity and live in peace with everyone. We are very sorry to the members of our family and others who were hurt,” the pizzeria's post reportedly stated.
'Place used to support terror operations'
IDF Central Command chief Major General Yehuda Fuchs issued an order to seal the establishment, Israeli news site Ynetnews reported. The order stated that it decided to demolish Eiffel Bakery and Supermarket because of its involvement in incitement activities and support for terrorist operations.
Maj Gen Fuchs reportedly directed that the establishment "must be immediately closed and remain closed." The order further added that the pizzeria "shall be immediately closed and kept closed," and that "anyone possessing the place shall close it immediately, cease managing it and maintain it while it is closed," Ynetnews reported. The order remains valid for five months.
Meanwhile, Israeli military directed about 1.1 million people in northern Gaza to move to south within 24 hours ahead of Israel's anticipated ground offensive over the weekend. The United Nations warned of "devastating humanitarian consequences" of such movement.
"The United Nations strongly appeals for any such order, if confirmed, to be rescinded avoiding what could transform what is already a tragedy into a calamitous situation," it said in a statement.
The conflict between Israel and Hamas that started on October 7 has claimed at least 2,800 lives on both sides.