Netanya helicopter deaths joy on Press TV site

The beach in Netanya 300m from where the crash took place

The beach in Netanya 300m from where the crash took place

Reports of the death of a British tourist in a helicopter crash in Netanya were met with celebration by readers of Press TV’s website.

The news organisation, funded by the Iranian government, ran a story on Tuesday afternoon headlined “Two killed in Israeli chopper crash”.

It was immediately met with comments referring to the Gaza conflict and apparently calling for Jews and Israelis to be killed.

Among the worst comments were one from ‘Qassam advocate’ who wrote “Four million more to go”, and an anonymous remark stating: “Nice one God”.

Another reader, John, wrote: “Israel went out of existence over 2,000 years ago! Don’t call the Zionist murderers Israeli. By doing so you are accepting their lies! Israel is an acronym for: Invading Settlers Russian American European Landgrabbers! Viva Palestina.”

‘Ez’ wrote: “Its mere punishment for the illegal Gaza blockade!”

Another, headed ‘Great News’, said: “Hopefully more of the Zionist scum will follow suit.”

Roshan Muhammed Salih, Press TV’s London news editor, said the website was run from the company’s headquarters in Tehran.

He added: “The comments are disgusting. [In Tehran] they have not got round to moderating them. It’s incompetence more than anything.”

Mr Salih said he would be contacting the site moderators to ask for the comments to be removed.

But more than an hour later the comments were still visible, with others being added throughout the afternoon.

Last updated: 5:35pm, November 24 2009