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Fatah Facebook Page Temporarily Shut Down

[additional-authors]
September 25, 2019
Photo from Wikipedia.

The Facebook page for Fatah, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ ruling party, was temporarily shut down on Sept. 25 amidst efforts to have it removed from the social media platform altogether.

The editor of the page, Munir Jaghoub, told the Times of Israel (TOI) that the move was “a precautionary measure” because they don’t want Facebook to permanently ban the page in response to Palestinian Media Watch’s (PMW) campaign against it. A spokesperson for Facebook told TOI that they didn’t take any action against the page.

PMW published a 40-page report earlier in the month arguing that the Fatah Facebook frequently promotes violence and terrorism and should therefore be taken down from Facebook. Among the examples listed in the report include praising the planner of the 1972 Munich terror attack that killed 11 Israelis as “a Red Prince” and hailing 17-year-old Palestinian suicide bomber Ayyat Al-Akhras – who killed two Israelis in a 2002 Jerusalem bombing – as a “Magnificent Martyrdom-seeker.”

Additionally, the Fatah page posted a photo of young girls holding assault rifles with the caption, “Fatah’s flowers” on Jan. 1.

PMW also published a report on Fatah’s Facebook page in February; PMW CEO Itamar Marcus told the Jerusalem Post that he met with a Facebook official sometime after the February report was published.

“I emphasized that every time Fatah posts a new terror message on Facebook encouraging violence or presenting murderers as role models, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians are given more motivation to kill Israelis,” Marcus said. “Facebook still chooses to do nothing to stop it. Their willingness to ignore the role they are playing in Fatah’s terror promotion is incomprehensible. Whereas in 2018, Facebook was an unwitting accomplice in Fatah’s terror promotion, Facebook is Fatah’s partner by choice in 2019.”

Marcus wrote on the PMW website on Sept. 25 that they had been working with Act.il, a joint project of the Israeli American Council (IAC), the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) and the Maccabee Task Force that aims to take down anti-Semitic content online, to apply pressure to Facebook over the past two weeks. Marcus hailed the fact that the page has gone offline as a “great success.”

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