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(Hatem Omar / Maan Images)

Kill a Palestinian “every hour,” says new Israeli Facebook page

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The Facebook page’s main profile picture and background image show Palestinians as targets through the crosshairs of a gun. 

More than 16,000 Israelis have joined a Facebook page that calls for the murder of a Palestinian every hour until three missing Israeli settler teens are located. The page is titled “Until the boys are back, every hour we shoot a terrorist.”

The page was launched as the Israeli army continued violent raids, curfews and closures across the occupied West Bank and shot dead Ahmad Sabarin, a Palestinian youth.

According to the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency:

The Israeli newspaper Maariv reported on its website that within hours of its creation, a Facebook page calling for the hourly assassination of Palestinian “terrorists” had reached 10,000 likes. 

The Facebook page called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “take responsibility instead of holding [Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud] Abbas responsible” for the allged kidnapping of three Israeli teens, Maariv reported. 

The three missing settlers are Naftali Frankel, Eyal Yifrah (both 16) and Gilad Shaer (19), who reportedly went missing while hitchhiking between Jewish-only settlements in the Hebron area of the southern occupied West Bank late Thursday evening. Since that time, Israeli political figures, including Netanyahu, have rushed to blame both the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority and Hamas, who recently signed a reconciliation agreement to end a seven-year division. 

Israeli officials claim that Palestinian political organization Hamas kidnapped the missing boys, but a Hamas spokesperson denied involvement and dismissed the accusation as “stupid.” Israel has yet to produce evidence supporting its claims, though it has arrested dozens of Hamas officials and activists including the speaker and several elected members of the Palestinian Legislative Council in ongoing raids across the West Bank.

Dozens of photos and comments by both the page administrator and commenters offer a glimpse into the radical and violent anti-Palestinian climate in Israel. The dehumanization of Palestinians, including children, is common among Israelis on social media, especially Facebook users in Israel

Resonating with reality

One of the photographs posted by the adminsitrator reads, “Return to Jewish war ethics: kill or be killed.” At the bottom, the photo adds: “Kill a terrorist every hour.” 

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Top: “Return to Jewish war ethics: kill or be killed.” Bottom: “Kill a terrorist every hour.” 

At the time of writing, the post had received more than six thousand Facebook likes and had more than one hundred comments, most of them supportive. 

One commenter, Hariel Ben Michael, called for Israel to destroy entire Palestinian communities “every hour” until the missing boys “are released.” 

His comments resonate with reality. Since its destruction of more than five hundred Palestinian villages and towns during the 1948 Nakba, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, Israel has continued to demolish Palestinian homes and raze entire communities, particularly in places like the Jordan Valley region of the West Bank. 

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In Hebrew: “A friend suggested this idea: each hour that passes and the boys (may god protect them) are not released, we destroy a neighborhood in Hebron, and after we’re done with Hebron, we move to Ramallah then to Gaza, etc.”

“Get cancer”

An English-language commenter, Jordan Lerer, says he hopes Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip “get cancer” and “die with agony.” The picture he comments on shows many Palestinians between crosshairs of a gun and says, “kidnapped? kidnap!” — ostensibly calling for the kidnapping of Palestinians. 

 

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An English-language commenter hopes Palestinians in Gaza “get cancer” at a time when the Israeli military bombards the besieged coastal strip. 

Lerner also comments that he has “no mercy” regarding the Israeli military’s treatment of the besieged Gaza Strip. 

Israel’s military has already bombed several areas in the Gaza Strip since the three boys went missing.

Crackdown 

On Saturday evening, seven-year-old Ali al-Awour died as a result of injuries sustained by an Israeli airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday night. According to statistics from Defence for Children International - Palestine Section (DCI-Palestine), 1,405 Palestinian children have been killed by Israel since 2000. 

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Relatives carry the body of Ali al-Awour during his funeral in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip, 14 June 2014. (Ashraf Amra / APA images)

After the Israeli settlers went missing on Thursday night, Israel’s occupation forces intensified their crackdown across the West Bank and continued bombing the Gaza Strip. 

In the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, the Israeli military last night reportedly injured two children and their father when soldiers “bombed open the door of [their] house,” according to Ma’an News Agency. That raid came only a day after Israel “detained eighty Palestinians across the West Bank,” as noted by another Ma’an article. 

Israel’s crackdown has focused on the southern part of the West Bank, mostly in and around Hebron. As of Sunday, Hebron residents were banned from leaving the West Bank, Maan reported

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A Palestinian kisses the face of Ahmad Sabarin, 20, who medics said was killed by the Israeli army in a raid on al-Jalazone refugee camp near Ramallah, 16 June 2014. (Issam Rimawi / APA images)

Overnight on Sunday, the military also raided the Jalazone refugee camp near the central West Bank city of Ramallah and shot and killed 20-year-old Ahmad Sabarin. 

Michael Ben Ari, a former member of Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, also called for the assassination of Palestinians while speaking to Hebrew-language media. Israel ought to “kill terrorists in public hangings,” Ben Ari said.

“Sit in the dark”

Another alarming Facebook page, created yesterday, is named “If our boys are sitting in the dark, Palestinians will also sit in the dark.”

With more than three thousand members, the page calls for Israel to cut off all electricity to the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Due to Israel’s suffocating restrictions, both regions are dependent on Israel for electricity. 

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This photograph calls for Israel to cut off electricity and water to Palestinians and to further limit their ability to move freely. 

One photograph posted on the page (above) called for Israel to inflict “collective punishment” on Palestinians by ending their electricty and water supplies and increasing restrictions on movement. 

A petition was also launched on Sunday demanding that Israel cut off Palestinians’ access to electricity. As of Monday morning, it had already received more than one thousand signatures. 

Due to Israel’s ongoing siege of Gaza, approximately 1.7 million residents of the coastal enclave have suffered deteriorating conditions over the last few years as a result of the lack of gas and electricity. 

Dehumanization 

This is not the first time Israelis have used social media to call for violence against Palestinians, including children. As Israel’s political establishment grows even more rightwing, much of the general population has embraced the increasingly anti-Palestinian climate. 

As Rania Khalek recently reported for The Electronic Intifada, a Facebook page supporting an Israeli soldier who was filmed pointing his gun at a Palestinian child’s face received more than 129,000 likes. 

In February 2013, Ali Abunimah exposed an Israeli soldier’s violent pictures on the photo-sharing website Instragram. One of his pictures showed a Palestinian child as a target between the crosshairs of a rifle.

Since then, The Electronic Intifada has time and again brought to light the dehumanization of Palestinians and pervasive racism displayed by Israelis on social media outlets. 

To read more about this, see The Electronic Intifada’s past coverage: 

With thanks to Hanan Darawsha for her help with translation and research. 

Comments

This Israeli website is offensive and unbelievably cruel. More of the same stuff that's been going on since before 1948. Can't this be reported & taken off Facebook? It's a travesty & inhuman evil.

Hundreds of people have reported the page but Facebook refuses to shut it!

The apparent Kidnapping of 3 Israeli youths, in the West Bank, was not a good move, and I have opposed it. However, for an Israeli Facebook page to incite Mass Killings of Palestinians, in retaliation, is totally unacceptable. unless Facebook is happy to collude with unethical, and probably Illegal, messages, Urgent Action is Requested. Please Remove such messages from Facebook NOW !!!

I, like many others, have reported the page to facebook.

They're response:

‎We reviewed your report of ‎עד שהנערים חוזרים - בכל שעה במחבל יורים‎‎.
Thank you for taking the time to report something that you feel may violate our Community Standards. Reports like yours are an important part of making Facebook a safe and welcoming environment. We reviewed the page you reported for containing credible threat of violence and found it doesn't violate our Community Standards.

Appeal it citing the Community Standards of 1) Threats and Violence and 2) Hate Speech.

Appeals are critical to having content removed on Facebook.

I don't see any buttons of options for this. How does one go about appealing the decision?

Keep it coming E I. my prayers are with you...My heart bleeds for our beretheren. Insha Allah..put a hand. #DismantleIsrahellnow

Let every decent person unsubscribe from face book for allowing this kind of following and likes. These are children. Hold Netanyahu responsible!

And how many Western governments repeat time and again how they share common values with Israel? Now 17,920 votes for killing a random Palestinian every hour. If this is what they mean by the "only democracy in the Middle East". . . perhaps it is time to forgo democracy.

people who are so strongly aligned with killing as a means to and end are not people who need to be on a social net work. they are terrorists not social people. Israel dishes it out but can't take it. the entire war could be resolved with compromise and humility yet killing is first threat. please, facebook, do not let such propaganda spoil this site.

Killing Palestinian is not the answer the Israeli should gave up the Arab territory occupied since 1967 including east of Jerusalem.

I hope people aren't fooled into believing anything in this article. I can debunk almost every sentence here so easily. For starters, lets just clear up that no one is calling for Israel to kill Palestinians until the boys are returned. The Facebook page says "Mechablim", which mean terrorists. For those who need an explanation of what "terrorists" means, the terrorists the page is referring to are people who have killed non-military Israelis, not your avergae everyday Palestinian. These terrorists are are members of internationally recognized terrorist groups, like Hamas. I don't know why this article insists on equating Palestinians with terrorists. The facebook page says nothing about killing Palestinians. Whether you agree or disagree with the notion the facebook group promotes, i fell it necessary to clarify that the page DOES NOT call for killing Palestinians. That's literally been made up by this article. Kinda scary that who ever wrote this is trying to take advantage of the fact that many people don't understand hebrew.

One, as the article’s discussion makes clear, the commenters on the FB page clearly view “Mechablim/terrorists” as synonymous with “Palestinians,” as they call for the destruction of entire Palestinian communities. This stance is supported by the FB page administrators when they fail to remove comments such as those cited by EI as examples.

Two, the page administrators may be specifically targeting imprisoned Palestinians for execution, as they criticise the “weak” Israeli government for releasing prisoners, but the administrators also leave the door wide open to extending that policy to all Palestinians in saying “The only way to bring the teens back is to instill fear in our enemies and make them understand that they will suffer” (“about” section, in English). "Our enemies" will suffer—not the terrorists will suffer.

Three, does the FB page anywhere specify that ONLY convicted “terrorists,” and NOT random Palestinians, are to be executed? Not that I can find.

Four, even if we accepted the notion that imprisoned Palestinians labelled “terrorists” by the Israeli government were justly convicted (just to play devil’s advocate for a moment), are they all subject to the death penalty under Israeli law? If so, why have they not been executed by the law? Indeed some were even released, a point the FB page administrators complain of. The FB page is advocating illegal vigilantism, a practice hardly known for making keen distinctions.

Lastly, the one “like” from this FB page declares “Death to all terrorist enemies of Israel!” and has 68,000 likes. The theme in both pages is that anyone who does not support Israel is thus an enemy of Israel is thus a terrorist and is thus a bonafide target for execution. You don’t need to speak Hebrew to see that. Besides, as this EI article makes clear, Israeli forces are already redoubling their efforts to to make their enemies suffer, having quickly killed two Palestinians. And they weren’t in prison as terrorists.

it means Palestinians, and the proof for this can be seen in the comments on the facebook page, i.e. calling to kill a whole neighbourhood of who? terrorists! another comment calling for killing them at the moment they are born! who is meant in this comment? a terrorist?! From my reading in Hebrew newspapers and the comments associated to them and other types of Hebrew media I know as a fact that 'Mechabillim' when used by the general public in Israel the allusion is to Palestinians.

The amount of hatred many Israelis show towards the Arabs and especially the Palestinians is unparalleled. maybe it stems from the original hatred of Ishmaelites, the Ammonites and the Moabites!

Please clarify, you define terrorists as "people who kill non military Israelis." Shouldn't the definition be broadened to include anyone who kills non military persons, or do Israelis have some special significance so that only killers of non combatant Israelis are to be defined as terrorists? I am a civilian Australian woman but if I got shot by some gun toting Israeli settler you would not define that shooter as a terrorist. It seems like a case of double standards to me. The Israeli who shot two innocent teenage boys recently near Ofer prison, I suppose he was doing his duty and not a terrorist. It sounds like in your view only "Arabs" can be terrorists so the translation into "killing a Palestinian every hour" is correct.

Aiding or contributing in a secondary way or assisting in or contributing to as a subordinate. In Criminal Law, contributing to or aiding in the commission of a crime. One who, without being present at the commission of an offense, becomes guilty of such offense, not as a chief actor, but as a participant, as by command, advice, instigation, or concealment; either before or after the fact or commission.
One who aids, abets, commands, or counsels another in the commission of a crime.
Failure to take down this Facebook page, knowing its content and intent, would appear to make Facebook an accessory to the crimes committed.

So if one of us were to call for the killing of an Isreali every hour until they stopped bombing the Palestinian territory and tormenting children would that be allowed on Facebook too? If not then obviously the company is biased.... in fact, the calling of ANYONE to be killed every hour does, I believe, violate facebook's polices. So why have they gotten away with this for so long? People's accounts have been suspended for far less, even trivial things. I suspect a political bias on the part of Facebook.

And no, I do not mean that Isreali's should be killed every hour, I am simply making a point. Which is anyone else called for this they would have been suspended AND most likely had a visit from the local security agency (CIA, CSIS or whatever is in their country). So why have they gotten away with it when no one else can? Security agencies ARE surveilling Facebook too, constantly these days.

As of now, June 25 2014 the page is STILL active...

the page clearly says "kill a terrorist", the word "palestinian" does not appear, not even once, in this page.
on a side note, when saying "terrorist" in hebrew it usually means someone who actually murdered someone in an act of terror. so this page is basically saying death to murderers.

don't believe me? try to translate the sentence from the page in google translate:
"עד שהנערים חוזרים - בכל שעה במחבל יורים"

MY MESSAGE TO FACEBOOK
__________________________

Hi,

I have found a totally inappropriate and sickening FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/lehas...

This page, inciting murdering a Palestinian every hour until some Israelis are found, is clearly in the wrong because your policy here: https://www.facebook.com/commu... says that "We remove content and may escalate to law enforcement when we perceive a genuine risk of physical harm, or a direct threat to public safety. You may not credibly threaten others, or organize acts of real-world violence. Organizations with a record of terrorist or violent criminal activity are not allowed to maintain a presence on our site. We also prohibit promoting, planning or celebrating any of your actions if they have, or could, result in financial harm to others, including theft and vandalism." The page in question DOES put risk to "public safety" and this group, with the intentions of killing a Palestinian every hour, is clearly involved with criminal activity, also infringing your policy. They are also clearly organising real-world violence, which again, is against your policy.

Please remove this page, as it is clearly against your Community Standards on many counts.

Thanks.

I would like everyone one that reads this to copy and paste this exact piece of text and email it to appeals@facebook.com