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Israeli Officer Gets 35-Day Sentence for April Fools' Hoax

April 03, 1986|From Reuters

TEL AVIV — The Israeli army sentenced an intelligence officer to 35 days' detention Wednesday for passing to Israel radio a hoax report that gunmen had tried to assassinate Lebanese Shia Muslim leader Nabih Berri.

The soldier put out the report Tuesday over a military wire service as an April Fools' Day joke, the army command said.

Israel radio broadcast the report, which said that gunmen had killed or seriously wounded Berri, leader of the main Shia Muslim militia Amal and a member of the Lebanese Cabinet. It later acknowledged that the report was a hoax.

Israeli military sources said that Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin, who interrupted a parliamentary committee meeting to announce the supposed attack, ordered that action be taken against the soldier.

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