Palestinian man sentenced to prison for Facebook incitement


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A court in Jerusalem has sentenced a Palestinian man to prison for posting messages on Facebook urging his friends and followers to commit “violent acts and acts of terrorism.”

The Jerusalem Magistrate Court on Tuesday sentenced eastern Jerusalem resident Omar Shalabi, the secretary general of the Palestinian political party Fatah’s Jerusalem branch, to nine months in prison  for incitement and for supporting a terrorist organization, the New York Times reported.

Shalabi has some 5,000 Facebook friends and 755 followers.

Among his posts were a photo of a Palestinian man who was shot dead by police after driving his car into people waiting at a Jerusalem light rail station, killing a baby, and a post praising two men who killed five worshippers in a synagogue in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof.  “Ask death to grant you life; glory is bestowed upon the martyrs,” the post said.

It is the first time that Israel has imprisoned someone for incitement on social media, Ynet reported, though in recent months Israel has detained several Palestinians and Arab-Israelis for incitement over statements on social media, according to the New York Times.

Recommended from JTA