Pakistani Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif has tweeted a nuclear threat against Israel after falling victim to a fake news article, which claimed that Israel had warned Pakistan against intervening in Syria.
On Friday, Asif tweeted: "Israeli def min threatens nuclear retaliation presuming Pak role in Syria against Daesh. Israel forgets Pakistan is a nuclear state too."
Israel Radio on Saturday clarified that Asif's outburst was in response to an article that was entirely false on a website named AWD News. The fake news article quoted ex-Israeli defence minister Moshe Ya'alon as saying that Israel would destroy Pakistan if the country sent ground forces to Syria to eliminate Islamic State (Isis). Ya'alon left the defence ministry in May and was replaced by the current Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
According to reports, Israel has maintained ambiguity about its nuclear capabilities. It has never publicly either confirmed or denied possessing nuclear weapons.
Israel's defence ministry, responding to Asif's comments said: "The statements attributed to former defence minister Ya'alon regarding Pakistan were never said. The report the Pakistani defence minister responded to is completely false."
AWD News also has a murky track record and according to fact checking website snopes.com, it has a history of promoting conspiracy theories and clickbait headlines. It had reported previously that the King of Jordan murdered his wife Queen Rania.
Queen Rania is alive and quite active on social networks.