Twitter suspends Israeli lawmaker for saying Palestinian teen should have been shot in kneecap


JERUSALEM (JTA) — An Israeli lawmaker was suspended from Twitter after saying in a post that the Palestinian teen who slapped an Israeli soldier should have been shot in the kneecap.

Bezalel Smotrich of the pro-settler Jewish Home party was suspended for 12 hours and told to remove the offensive post about Ahed Tamimi, the 17-year-old girl who was sentenced to eight months in prison for slapping the soldier and other offenses.

“I stayed alive,” Smotrich tweeted early Tuesday morning after his suspension was lifted. He thanked Twitter for the suspension, saying it gave his comments more prominence.

In his original tweet, Smotrich had called Tamimi “a terrorist and not an innocent teenager.” He also wrote: “In my opinion, she deserved a bullet, at the very least to the kneecap. That would put her under house arrest for the rest of her life.”

Twitter said in a message to the lawmaker that he had violated the site’s rules banning “offensive behavior.”

“You are not permitted to be involved in deliberate harassment of a person, or to incite others to be involved in such behavior,” the Twitter message said. “We view offensive behavior as an attempt to harass, scare or silence another person.”

Smotrich said he would appeal Twitter’s demand that he delete the tweet.

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