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Copenhagen bus fire may be tied to Israel ads

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Copenhagen bus fire may be tied to Israel ads
At least one of the buses had anti-Israel graffiti. Photo: Erik Refner/Scanpix
10:23 CEST+02:00
UPDATED: Four public buses were burned in the early morning hours of Friday in what may have been a reaction to a controversy surrounding an advertising campaing urging people to boycott products from Israeli settlements.
Copenhagen Police suspect that there is a political motive behind the burning of four Copenhagen city buses early on Friday. 
 
“In paint was written ‘Boycott Israel - Free Gaza’ on at least one of the buses,” police spokesman Las Vestervig told tabloid BT. 
 
No one was injured in the fire, which was set in the bus company Arriva’s parking garage in the Copenhagen district of Østerbro. 
 
The fire came amidst a controversy over the bus company Movia's decision to remove advertisements from 35 buses in the capital region that urged people to boycott products from Israeli settlements . 
 
 
The ads pictured two women beside the quote: "Our conscience is clean! We neither buy products from the Israeli settlements nor invest in the settlement industry."
 
The ads were dropped by Movia within just four days after the company "received a significant number of inquiries regarding the Danish Palestinian Friendship Association's campaign against Israeli settlements,” Movia told AFP. 
 
It has since been revealed that the majority of complaints about the advertisements were written in English, leading many to conclude that it was the organized work of a foreign lobby campaign. 
 
The Danish Palestinian Friendship Association told AFP that the removal of the ads was “a clear attempt to deny us our freedom of speech”. 
 
"There is nothing whatsoever about this campaign that is harmful, discriminatory or hateful in any way," Fathi El-Abed added. 
 
As of early Friday, police had not made any arrests but where working on the assumption that the fire was set deliberately. 
 
"Parked buses don't catch fire on their own too often. Therefore we have reason to assume that the fires were set," police spokesman Kristian Aaskov told Politiken. 
 

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