Palestinian Youth Arrested by Israeli Police from East Jerusalem for Incitement on Facebook

The Israeli police arrested last week a Palestinian young man from occupied East Jerusalem in his 20s at the pretext of incitement against Israel on social media, and for allegedly “supporting Hamas through social media websites,” according to Israeli police spokeswoman.

The Palestinian young man, said to be in his twenties, is a resident of the Shufat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem. He was detained on June 6 for allegedly posting various pictures and text posts praising the activities of Hamas in the past 18 months, as well as expressing support for an “Intifada to liberate Jerusalem.”

According to the Hebrew website Walla, the police lifted a gag order on the recent arrest of a Jerusalemite young man for posting comments and images on Facebook over the last 18 months that support the intifada (uprising) and the activities of Hamas and the resistance.

Police arrested the youth about a week ago, following long-term investigations. The posts he shared reportedly had around 270,000 comments and reactions from his Facebook page followers, reiterating his ideas and supporting them, with some also sharing the post, According to Israeli police spokeswoman, The Israeli military and security forces had kidnapped more than 150 Palestinian young men and women since the start of al-Quds intifada in early October last year over anti-Israel Facebook posts.

The youth’s detention was extended again on Monday, and an indictment is expected to be filed against him in the coming few days.

In recent months, Israel has detained scores of Palestinians for social media activity, alleging that a wave of unrest that swept the occupied Palestinian territory last October was encouraged largely by Palestinian “incitement.”
Palestinians have instead pointed chiefly to the frustration and despair brought on by Israel’s nearly 50-year military occupation of the Palestinian territory and the absence of a political horizon.

An Israeli military court on June 1 convicted 22-year-old Palestinian Qusay Issa of incitement against Israel, sentencing him to one year in prison and a fine of 2,000 shekels ($519) over Facebook posts.

Days earlier, Israeli military prosecution submitted an indictment to a military court for prominent Palestinian astrophysicist Imad Barghouthi, accusing him of incitement against Israel on Facebook, despite a previous decision to release him from custody due to lack of sufficient evidence.

According to prisoners’ organization Addameer, 7,000 Palestinians were held in Israeli custody as of April.