Rights group calls on AG to probe online praise for New Zealand killer
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Rights group calls on AG to probe online praise for New Zealand killer

Mossawa Center flags Hebrew-language posts on Facebook and comments sections of news stories expressing admiration for accused gunman

This image taken from CCTV video obtained by the state-run Turkish broadcaster TRT World and made available on March 16, 2019, shows the arrival of who it says is Brenton Tarrant, the suspect in the New Zealand mosque attacks, in Istanbul's Ataturk International airport in Turkey on March 2016. (TRT World via AP)
This image taken from CCTV video obtained by the state-run Turkish broadcaster TRT World and made available on March 16, 2019, shows the arrival of who it says is Brenton Tarrant, the suspect in the New Zealand mosque attacks, in Istanbul's Ataturk International airport in Turkey on March 2016. (TRT World via AP)

An Arab civil rights group on Saturday called on Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to order an investigation into Israelis who expressed support for the accused gunman in the massacre at two New Zealand mosques.

Brenton Tarrant, a self-described fascist, has been charged with murder over Friday’s shooting rampage in Christchurch, in which 49 Muslim worshipers were killed.

The Mossawa Center, which advocates for Arab rights in Israel, flagged a number of Facebook posts and responses in the comments section of an article on the attack of Israelis it said identified with Tarrant and were engaging in incitement.

One such post included images of Tarrant and a combat vest he apparently used in the attack. “A hero who is worthy of admiration,” the user wrote.

“A very skilled young man. It really looks an actual computer game. Unbelievable,” another user wrote in response, referring to video Tarrant posted of the shooting.

طالب مدير مركز مساواة جعفر فرح صباح السبت المستشار القضائي أن يأمر الشرطة بالتحقيق بالتحريض العنصري والداعم للعملية…

פורסם על ידי ‏The Mossawa Center مركز مساواة‏ ב- יום שבת, 16 במרץ 2019

Other content Mossawa highlighted included an anonymous user writing in the comments section of an article that “everyone just needs to be killed.”

“It’s not complicated just a matter of a few hundred bullets,” the comment read.

Mossawa implored Mandelblit to order police to investigate the online posts.

“The heirs of the murderer Baruch Goldstein are celebrating another murder of worshipers,” Mossawa wrote on its Facebook page, referring to a Jewish extremist who shot to death 29 Palestinians in 1994 praying at the Tomb of the Patriarchs in the West Bank city of Hebron.

The shooting has been condemned by Jewish groups and Israeli leaders, with President Reuven Rivlin calling it a “depraved and despicable act.”

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