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Pakistan issues nuclear warning to Israel on Twitter after fake news story

Israel's former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, seen here in a May 20, 2016 file photo, was falsely quoted in the AWD News fake story.
Israel's former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, seen here in a May 20, 2016 file photo, was falsely quoted in the AWD News fake story. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

A fake news story has touched off a tense Twitter confrontation between nuclear power Pakistan and Israel, widely believed to have a nuclear arsenal of its own, in an episode that underlines the potentially harmful impact of such stories in sensitive global affairs

In an apparent response to a fake story claiming Israel’s former defence minister threatened a nuclear attack against Pakistan if it sends troops to Syria, Pakistan’s Defence Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif reminded Israel that “Pakistan is a nuclear state too.”

Israel’s Defence Ministry tweeted back Saturday, saying the original story on the site AWD News was “totally fictitious.”

AWD has been identified by fact-checking organizations as a fake news site.

READ MORE: Fake news online: How did we get here?

Israel maintains a policy of nuclear ambiguity, neither confirming nor denying the existence of an arsenal. Pakistan became a nuclear power in 1998. The countries have no diplomatic ties.

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There was no immediate reaction from Pakistan to Israel’s response.

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