Page last updated at 00:05 GMT, Wednesday, 15 July 2009 01:05 UK

Advert 'implied Gaza in Israel'

The advert marked the West Bank and Gaza with only a faint line

An Israeli tourism advert that showed the West Bank and the Gaza Strip as an undisputed part of Israel has been rejected by the advertising watchdog.

The posters, on the London Underground, sparked hundreds of complaints from pro-Palestinian groups and members of the public.

The Advertising Standards Authority said a map labelled Israel implied the occupied territories were in Israel.

Israel's ministry of tourism said no political message was intended.

It added that its aim was to give tourists an idea of the areas in and around Israel.

But the ASA found the border lines for the Gaza Strip and the West Bank were faintly marked and difficult to see.

And the map was positioned beneath the slogan "few countries pack so much variety into such a small space as Israel", it added.

The ASA said: "We understood that the borders and status of the occupied territories of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Golan Heights were the subject of much international dispute, and because we considered that the ad implied that those territories were part of the State of Israel, we concluded that the ad was misleading."

They said the advert must not appear again in the same form.

The watchdog upheld complaints from the Palestinian Solidarity Campaign, Jews for Justice for Palestinians and 442 members of the public.

In May, Israel's tourist ministry admitted it had made a "professional mistake" over the adverts and said no more maps would be used on its posters.

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