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Danish bus agency removes ad against Israeli settlements

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COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Copenhagen's public transport agency on Thursday ordered the immediate removal of posters opposing Israeli settlements on the capital's city buses after getting "a considerable amount of complaints."

Movia, owned by eastern Denmark local authorities, said the campaign by the Danish Palestinian Friendship Association was "unnecessarily offensive."

The campaign that started Monday was calling for labels on goods produced in Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

"Our conscience is clean. We neither buy products from the Israeli settlements nor invest in the occupation industry," the advertisement text read next to photos of two women only identified by their first names.

The company that runs the bus routes must remove the advertisements immediately from the 35 vehicles that displayed the posters, said the agency that is in charge of buses in Copenhagen.

"We got somewhere between 75 and 100 complaints, most of them in English," Movia spokeswoman Camilla Struckmann told The Associated Press.

Fathi El Abed, head of the association running the campaign, expressed dismay at the bus company's decision.

"This is crazy," he said. "This is a matter of freedom speech. We will talk to our lawyer about this."

El Abed said the message expressed in the bus campaign was the same as the EU line on the Israeli settlements.

At the campaign's Facebook page, opponents expressed their anger with the posters, saying they are part of a "lying campaign" and a "propaganda machine."

Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in the 1967 war. Palestinians demand the territory as part of their future state. The international community views the settlements as illegitimate.

Last year, Movia transported some 220 million passengers and is in charge of 448 bus lines and 10 smaller train lines in eastern Denmark.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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