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Facebook ‘Incitement’ Posts Lead to Arrests in Israel


USA Today reports:  Since a spate of attacks against Israelis began in October, authorities have arrested dozens of Palestinians for “incitement” of violence — based on their Facebook posts.

The Israeli military said it charged 60 people since the outbreak of attacks, while the Haifa-based rights group Adallah Legal Center said the number of arrests is closer to 400, including 150 Palestinians in the West Bank and 250 Arab citizens of Israel.

“Incitement to violence on social media is a phenomenon that only recently is gaining traction,” said Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, spokesman for the Israel Defense Forces. “Following attacks, many assailants have stated that they were directly inspired by incitement on social media, which led them to carry out the attacks.”

As Facebook faces a backlash over alleged liberal political bias in the United States, authorities in Israel and the West Bank have dragged the social media giant into another controversy involving security and free speech.

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