Knesset passes law making it illegal to watch pro-terror content

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

Legislation prohibiting the systematic consumption of terrorist content has passed into law in the Knesset.

The law bars individuals from consuming terrorist content, provided that the manner in which the content is consumed indicates the individual identifies with the terrorist organizations mentioned in the legislation, namely Hamas and Islamic State.

Anyone found guilty of the offense can be imprisoned for one year.

The law states that it is not applicable to someone who watches such content “randomly, in good faith, or for a legitimate reason including providing information to the public, preventing terror attacks, or for research purposes,” conditions which eased concerns of civil rights groups that the legislation was too sweeping.

The law was passed as a temporary measure valid for two years, but can be extended by the Knesset at the end of that period.

The legislation is designed to prevent so-called lone-wolf terrorism where someone who is not connected to a terror organization becomes radicalized and inspired to act by watching terrorist content.

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