Israel's Eurovision webcast hacked with fake attack warning

13 2019 shows an anti-occupation billboard by Israeli NGO Breaking The Silence erected on a street in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv

Israel has launched a PR campaign to counter calls for a boycott of the Eurovision contest by the worldwide Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement.

Show runners are now said to be scrambling to find a new main act for the final of the event as Madonna has reportedly not yet signed a contract.

It should be noted that Miller-Heidke's performance in this year's Eurovision has stirred up lots of controversy, following the ongoing call from people for artists to boycott Israel in protest of their occupation of Palestine.

A brief but bloody uptick in cross-border violence between Israel and Gaza militants two weeks ago brought fears that the contest - which culminates in Saturday's final with an expected appearance by Madonna - could be a target.

"But I am happy to say that within a few minutes we managed to assume control over this phenomenon". "If there is no signed contract this week, she will not be on the stage". "We are in a situation now that is a bit odd".

She added that the Palestinian and Arab broadcasting body has sent a message to the organisers of the contest, as well as a number of the European radio and TV unions, asking them to cancel all the advertisements and promotion material related to Eurovision.

After the 41-country competition kicked off in the coastal city on Tuesday with a first semi-final, national broadcaster Kan's webcast cut to animated satellite footage showing explosions in Tel Aviv set to a menacing soundtrack.

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"At a certain point, there was a takeover - apparently by Hamas - of our digital broadcast", KAN chief Eldad Koblenz said Wednesday.

"I'll never stop playing music to suit someone's political agenda nor will I stop speaking out against violations of human rights wherever in the world they may be", the singer said in a statement to Reuters.

Madonna has recently released a series of singles in the lead up to Madame X, her 14th album, out June 14.

"My heart breaks every time I hear about the innocent lives that are lost in this region and the violence that is so often perpetuated to suit the political goals of people who benefit from this ancient conflict", the singer said.

Many boycott calls have targeted Madonna, who arrived in Israel on Tuesday, in the run-up to the American pop star's guest performance at the Eurovision final.

More than 60 LGBT+ groups across Europe have advocated for a boycott of this year's Eurovision Song Contest as well as a wide variety of celebrities. "I hope and pray that we will soon break free from this bad cycle of destruction and create a new path towards peace". It is the third time that Israel has hosted the competition but the first time it has taken place in Tel Aviv, where it will be broadcast around the world from the Expo Tel Aviv International Convention Center.

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