ISRAELI FORCES DETAIN PALESTINIAN YOUTH OVER FACEBOOK POST
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) — Israeli forces detained a Palestinian youth on Wednesday at the al-Jib Israeli military checkpoint northwest of Jerusalem in the seam zone of the occupied West Bank, due to a post he published on his personal Facebook page.
The youth was identified by locals as Laith Barakat. However, his exact age remained unknown as of Wednesday.
According to locals, Israeli forces stopped Barakat at the checkpoint. After providing his ID card to Israeli soldiers, he was detained and transferred to an unidentified location.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she would look into reports on the detention.
, an Israeli court sentenced a Palestinian from Shufat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem to 17 months in Israeli prison for allegedly “supporting terrorist organizations” on Facebook.
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 in October 2015 was encouraged largely by “incitement.”
In October, a report
was released by Defense for Children International – Palestine, detailing that at least five Palestinian minors had been imprisoned by Israel without being charged in previous months, after sharing social media posts that Israeli authorities alleged amounted to “incitement” to commit violence.
Israel had previously blamed Facebook
outright for the perceived proliferation of incitement, with Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan reportedly saying that Facebook chairman and cofounder Mark Zuckerberg had “blood on his hands”
for not adequately cooperating with Israel to remove content.
Earlier this year, the controversial “Facebook bill” passed its first reading in the Knesset
, which would allow Israeli officials to force the social media giant to remove certain content through a court order if there are suspicions of “incitement.”
Meanwhile, 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 as reasons for the outbreak of violence. Many Palestinians have also pointed out that Israeli violence has continued to shape everyday life in the occupied territory, regardless of any recent “upticks” in clashes or attacks.