Police arrest 8 East Jerusalemites for online incitement

Suspects, some affiliated with Hamas, detained after using social media to call for terror attacks

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Police using a computer in an investigation (Photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Police using a computer in an investigation (Photo credit: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Security forces arrested eight Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem for online incitement Sunday night, accusing them on posting threatening pictures on social media, police said Monday.

Jerusalem District Police, alongside Border Police and police anti-terror forces, rounded up the suspects, some of whom are affiliated with Hamas and Fatah in an overnight sweep, police said in a statement.

The eight are suspected of circulating pictures and videos on Facebook praising terrorists and calling for terror attacks against Jews and security forces. Some of the images the suspects shared showed them holding pistols and M-16 rifles.

The images garnered thousands of “likes” and supportive comments, police said.

Police said they confiscated personal computers, mobile phones, storage devices, and an improvised grenade.

The operation came after an intensive investigation by Jerusalem Police’s Central Unit, the Shin Bet security service, and the Attorney General’s Office.

Senior Border Police official Aviad Ketafi recently told The Times of Israel that security forces had been working “very hard” to monitor social media profiles and online forums in hopes of identifying potential attackers, following a wave of attacks last month.

The Shin Bet recently posted on its website a job ad for “data mining” – a post that requires fluent Arabic and, preferably, a background in web intelligence.

Mitch Ginsburg contributed to this report. 

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