Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, blames a staffer for a tweet quoting him as telling CNN that Israel would be “willing to sit down with Hamas, if they just stop shooting at us.”
The tweet was captured by automated aggregator Topsy.
The ambassador was quick to clarify his position.
He also apparently realized that the tweet wasn’t sent by CNN, but by someone tweeting from his account.
Deleting the tweet only seems to have made things more controversial.
CNN reporter Melissa Gray — or a staffer with access to her account — also deleted a tweet which attributes the quote to Oren. So a CNN employee did send a very similar tweet to the one Oren deleted.
Gray’s tweet was deleted after she sent these tweets to Oren.
Here’s a tweet from Melissa Gray which rewords Oren’s statement quite a bit.
Here’s video of the segment from which the “just stop shooting at us” line originated. The ambassador delivers it not as a condition of negotiations but rather as a command.
A spokesman for Oren told Buzzfeed the ambassador “signaled in his interview our willingness to sit with our Palestinians neighbours – not with Hamas.”
Editor’s note: This post has been updated to include more information about Melissa Gray’s tweets.