Justin Bieber shares then deletes post in support of Israel featuring image of Gaza destruction

Justin Bieber is facing criticism for sharing a message of support for Israel alongside a photo of Gaza City destruction.

On Wednesday (11 October), the “Baby” singer posted an Instagram Story with the words “Praying for Israel” overlayed on an image of ruined buildings in the Gaza Strip.

Residential buildings, markets and mosques in Gaza have been destroyed in retaliation for the attack launched by Palestinian Hamas terrorists on Israel’s territories on Saturday.

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Within an hour, the pop star had deleted the post and reshared the message with the same wording but this time with no background.

The Independent has contacted Bieber’s representatives for comment.

“To vilianize [sic] all Palestinians or all Israeli people to me seems wrong,” Bieber wrote in an earlier post on his Instagram Story. “I’m not interested in choosing sides, but I am interested in standing with the families who have been brutally taken from us.”

In a similar apparent mishap, Oscar-winning actor Jamie Lee Curtis posted a picture with the caption “Terror from the skies” with an Israeli flag on Instagram on Monday (9 October), but deleted it after followers pointed out the picture was actually of Gazan children.

Following the attack upon its citizens by Hamas, Israel has announced a “complete siege” and has cut off water, food, fuel and electricity supplies to Gaza, which is home to 2.3 million people.

Retaliatory strikes by Israeli forces have so far killed at least 950 people, with more than 2,700 wounded.

Palestinian authorities have accused Israel of targeting the “entire neighbourhood” around the Al-Sousi mosque, which was razed to the ground by an airstrike on Monday.

It comes after Hamas launched its largest-ever attack on Israel, with militants launching thousands of rockets and storming through the Gaza border in an unprecedented assault.

More than 260 people were killed and others were kidnapped by Hamas at the Nova music festival in the desert near the border with Gaza on Saturday.

Bieber is among a number of celebrities to have reacted to the deadly conflict.

Madonna said the situation in Israel is “devastating” in a statement posted on Instagram, adding that “conflicts can never be resolved with violence” and her heart “goes out to Israel”.

Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot, who served two mandatory years in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) before launching her Hollywood career, shared several social media posts in support of Israel over the weekend.

“I stand with Israel you should too. The world cannot sit on the fence when these horrific acts of terror are happening!” she captioned one of her posts.

Several of Gadot’s followers responded to her message with comments pledging support for Palestine. For the last 50 years, Israel’s occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and Gaza, has “resulted in systematic human rights violations against Palestinians living there”, Amnesty International documented.

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