JERUSALEM — A story on a fake news website prompted a nuclear threat against Israel from the defense minister of Pakistan.
The fake news story published last week on the AWD website said that former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon threatened to launch a nuclear attack on Pakistan if it sends troops to Syria.
Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif on Friday tweeted: “Israeli def min threatens nuclear retaliation presuming pak role in Syria against Daesh. Israel forgets Pakistan is a Nuclear state too.”
Israel’s Ministry of Defense on Saturday tweeted in response: “The statement attributed to fmr Def Min Yaalon re Pakistan was never said” and then: “reports referred to by the Pakistani Def Min are entirely false.”
The statement attributed to fmr Def Min Yaalon re Pakistan was never said
— Ministry of Defense (@Israel_MOD) December 24, 2016
On Sunday, Asif tweeted in apparent acknowledgement: “Our nuclear prgrm is only a deterrence to protect our freedom. We desire to coexist in peace, both in our region & beyond.”
Israel has never confirmed nor denied the existence of a nuclear weapons program, though it is widely considered to be a nuclear power.
Israel and Pakistan do not have diplomatic relations.