Israeli police detain Palestinian citizen of Israel for online ‘incitement’

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RAHAT (Ma’an) — Israeli police detained a Palestinian with Israeli citizenship in the Negev-area town of Rahat city for “incitement to terrorism” on Wednesday, after the man lauded a deadly vehicular attack on social media.Israeli police spokeswoman Luba al-Samri said in a statement that police had extended the detention of the man until Jan. 15 for statements made on his Facebook page encouraging more attacks like the one in the illegal settlement of East Talpiyyot on Jan. 8 in which a Palestinian killed four Israeli soldiersby running them over with his truck, before he was himself shot dead.“We confirm that the right to freedom of speech doesn’t include incitement to terrorism and violence,” Al-Samri said.In recent months, Israel has detained scores of Palestinians for social media activity, alleging that a wave of unrest that first swept the occupied Palestinian territory in October 2015 was encouraged largely by “incitement.” The violence left 247 Palestinians killed by Israelis, as well as some 34 Israelis killed by Palestinians, between October 2015 and December 2016.Earlier this month, Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, passed the first reading of the controversial “Facebook bill” — 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.”Critics have instead pointed chiefly to the frustration and despair brought on by Israel’s decades-long military occupation of the Palestinian territory and the absence of a political horizon as reasons for the rise of unrest, and have accused the Israeli government of utilizing “anti-terrorism” discourse in order to justify and further entrench the Israeli military’s half-century occupation of the West Bank and near decade-long siege of the Gaza Strip.In response to incitement claims against Palestinians, Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary-General Saeb Erekat condemned the current Israeli government for its failure to “entrench a culture of peace and coexistence within Israeli society” in July, holding Israel responsible for incitement, saying “official Israeli discourse entrenches hatred, racism, and discriminatory attitudes against Palestinians. The discourse is only further entrenched by the institutional protection that is given to those who commit or incite violence against Palestinians.”

(Source / 12.01.2017)

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