Israeli Arab woman charged over online terror threats
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Israeli Arab woman charged over online terror threats

21-year-old from Kafr Bara says she was joking when she told police she would ‘carry out an attack in Tel Aviv’

Illustrative photo of a police officer holding a pair of handcuffs. (Abir Sultan/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of a police officer holding a pair of handcuffs. (Abir Sultan/Flash90)

A 21-year-old Israeli Arab woman from Kafr Bara was charged Friday with threatening on social media to carry out a terror attack against Israelis.

Zahariya Raayan allegedly wrote on social media that she intended to perpetrate an attack in Tel Aviv, the Ynet news website reported. Charges were brought against her at the Petah Tikva Magistrate’s Court.

According to the report, Raayan told police officers who came to arrest her that “I will carry out an attack in Tel Aviv, I will carry out an attack in Palestine.”

During questioning, Raayan stated she made the comments “as a joke.” She said that she “did not know what I was saying.”

The court was also asked to order the woman to house arrest for the duration of the legal proceedings against her.

Incitement to violence on social media has played a major role in the uptick in Palestinian violence targeting Israelis starting at the beginning of October.

According to The Associated Press, social media — particularly Twitter and Facebook — is the “number one source of news among young Palestinians.” Some 3.7 million Palestinians follow the Quds News Network, believed to be affiliated with Islamic Jihad, on the social media platform and 4.2 million follow the Shehab News Network, which is believed to be affiliated with Hamas, AP reported.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US Secretary of State John Kerry during the latter’s visit this week that the core problem driving the terror attacks is “religious incitement” by the Palestinian Authority spread via social media.

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