Occupied Jerusalem: An Israeli supermarket has hit raw nerves with a television ad campaign that re-enacts the assassination of Hamas commander Mahmoud Al Mabhouh in Dubai and promotes “killer prices”.
The commercials for the Mahsaney Kimat Hinam (Almost Free Warehouse) supermarket chain shows actors carrying tennis racquets, and wearing hats, glasses and wigs — the same disguises worn by the alleged killers — as they make their way through store aisles.
The actors are shown roaming through the supermarket equipped with CCTV cameras which trace their every move, evoking images from footage released by Dubai police after the January assassination of Al Mabhouh.
Lieutenant General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, Dubai’s Police Chief, has said that he believed Mossad agents were responsible for the murder, and has called for the Israeli spy agency’s chief to be arrested if its responsibility was proved.
“We offer killer prices,” announced the advertisement’s tagline, apart from promising to “shoot down” prices.
Sefi Shaked, the commercial’s copy writer, denied that the ad campaign was in bad taste and said it was inspired by footage released by Dubai police that shows the disguised killers prowling the halls of the hotel where the Hamas commander was murdered on January 19.
“It’s a funny take on this event,” Shaked, whose Tel Aviv-based employer Bar-Merhav-Shaked advertising agency came up with the campaign, said.
“We were fascinated by the technique of using surveillance cameras instead of [expensive] high production commercial cameras, and the latest events in Dubai gave us a great opportunity.”
An actor wearing a tennis outfit like the one seen in the Dubai footage browses the frozen food section.
An actress wearing a wide-brimmed floppy hat mimicks Israel’s policy of neither confirming or denying involvement in the assassination, saying she “couldn’t admit to anything”.
Dubai has accused Israel of carrying out the killing, an allegation strengthened by the fact that many of the forged European passports used in the operation bear the names and details of dual nationals living in Israel.
Several European countries whose nationals’ passports were used have summoned Israel’s ambassadors for an explanation and have sent investigators to Israel.
The commercials are expected to air in time for an upcoming Jewish holiday season starting at the end of March.