Published On: Thu, Sep 8th, 2016

Italian journalist fired for duping Israeli officials into Hezbollah interview

After interviewing high ranking Israeli officials on behalf of Hezbollah, Italian journalist Michele Monni has had his contract with the Italian ANSA news agency formally terminated; agency formally apologizes to the Israeli Embassy in Rome.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah recently threatened to launch missiles at an ammonia installation in northern Israel,   which could kill tens of thousands of civilians -- including thousands of Israeli Arabs.

Italian journalist Michele Monni has had his contract terminated by the Italian ANSA news agency after duping senior Israeli political and military officials into an interview on behalf of Hezbollah.

Monni filmed and interviewed the officials—which included former Defense Minister Amir Peretz, MK Tzipi Livni and Maj. Gen. (res.), MK Eyal Ben-Reuven and Tomer Weinberg who was injured in a patrol vehicle from which IDF soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser were kidnapped—for a Hezbollah documentary commemorating the 10 year anniversary of the Second Lebanon War.

The Second Lebanon War broke out when Hezbollah attacked an IDF humvee and kidnapped Goldwasser and Regev.

The fact that Monni was carrying out the interviews on behalf of Hezbollah caused a great amount of embarrassment for the ANSA Italian news agency, which immediately began investigating the matter.

As a result of this embarrassment, the head ANSA foreign news editor Luigi Ambrosino told the Israeli Embassy in Rome that the news agency had decided to terminate Moni’s contract with them.

In August, the head of the ANSA offices in Israel, Mossimo Lomokano said that “ANSA never gave freelance journalist Michele Monni any assignment to interview any of the people interviewed for the piece on the events from 2006. Monni never told ANSA that he was doing these interviews. Moreover, ANSA has never published any interviews conducted by Monni regarding those events.”

The agency also sent an apology letter to the Israeli Embassy in Italy, and expressed their worry that their reporters in Israel will be negatively affected.

Ynet News

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