Facebook and Twitter accounts belonging to Hezbollah have been closed, the Lebanese terror group said Saturday.
Hezbollah said on the Telegram encrypted messaging app that the closures came without warning and were “part of the propaganda campaign against the resistance due to the important role of the organization’s information apparatus in various arenas.”
There was no immediate explanation from either Facebook or Twitter on the decision to block the accounts.
Despite the closures, internet users were directed to new and already existing pages associated with Hezbollah, the Ynet news site reported.
While the companies have previously blocked pages belonging to the Iran-backed terror group, the shutting down of the accounts came after recent threats by Israeli officials to take legal action against social media companies for hosting the accounts of terror groups.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan earlier this month sent a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey warning the company could face prosecution in Israel if it does not block accounts belonging to Hezbollah and Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad.
Erdan said unlike other social media companies, Twitter in many cases has declined to remove content posted by terrorist groups.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has also threatened legal action against Twitter over the social media giant’s alleged refusal to crack down on posts by terror operatives.
The blocking of the Hezbollah accounts also came a day after the terror group released new footage on social media from the 2006 border attack on Israeli soldiers that sparked the Second Lebanon War.
The footage uploaded to a Twitter account associated with the terror group appears to show the moments after Hezbollah operatives shot and killed Israeli troops patrolling along the border with Lebanon.
The grainy video clip shows an Israel Defense Forces Humvee following the attack that killed three soldiers in July 2006.
Two bodies appear to be lying to the vehicle’s right as Hezbollah men are seen running away from the car. A bomb then goes off inside the vehicle.
The video then goes on to show footage that appears to depict the terrorists fleeing the scene of the attack, both on foot and by car.
לאחר שפרסם בעבר מספר תיעודים מהתקיפה, שחרר ארגון חיזבאללה סרטון נוסף מאירוע חטיפת החיילים גולדווסר ורגב בגבול לבנון ב-2006. בתיעוד החדש, נראית חוליית חיזבאללה מפוצצת את חלקו הקדמי של האמר צה"ל, ולאחר מכן נמלטת מהמקום – ככל הנראה כשגופות החיילים בידיהם@ndvori pic.twitter.com/3YMaNQnpxO
— החדשות (@NewsChannelIL) June 22, 2018
It was not immediately clear what prompted the video’s release.
Hezbollah has broadcast footage from the attack in the past.
In 2016 al-Mayadeen, a television channel affiliated with the Shiite organization, aired a three-episode documentary series commemorating the war’s 10-year anniversary. It included footage of Hezbollah fighters training for the attack.
Hezbollah also released videos in 2007 and 2012, including footage from the attack and audio from the IDF’s communications that day. The video released in 2012 included the part of the raid in which Hezbollah fighters opened fire on the IDF Humvee and crossed the border into Israeli territory. The clip ended right as the Hezbollah commandos reach the ruined vehicle.
The attack and subsequent abduction of the bodies of soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev led to hostilities that developed into the Second Lebanon War.
The 34-day war, which saw thousands of Hezbollah rockets pummeling northern towns, claimed the lives of 165 Israelis, including 44 civilians. Over 1,100 Lebanese, including both Hezbollah fighters and civilians, were killed.