Kmart: Australian store pulls 'Merry Ham-mas' Christmas bag

Australian store chain Kmart has pulled a festive gift from its website after a complaint from a Jewish group.

The Christmas food-themed bag featured the pun "ham-mas" in large lettering.

The Australian Jewish Association said it had "politely suggested" it be removed from sale because of the unintentional likeness to Hamas, which is a proscribed terrorist group in Australia and several other countries.

Wesfarmers, which owns the retail chain, apologised.

According to the now-deleted product page on Kmart's website, the bag featured "printed instructions to keep your ham fresh for longer" on one side, and the word's "Merry HAM-MAS" on the other.

The unfortunate faux pas was first raised by the Australian Jewish Association on Twitter, alongside a picture of the bag.

The group wrote: "Although this is potentially funny (the AJA committee has tossed around some non-PC jokes) it's really not a good look.

"We suspect some product manager may cause the company some embarrassment.

"So we've politely written to Wesfarmers corporate suggesting the product be pulled."

In an update around an hour later, the group said it had been contacted by senior management at the supermarket's parent company and assured the bag would be removed from its website.

In a statement, a spokesperson said: "We got it wrong on this occasion, and we apologise unreservedly.

"When designing this product we clearly didn't think through all the implications and the product has been removed from sale."