Facebook dismisses Israeli government 'incitement' claims

Facebook dismisses Israeli government 'incitement' claims

SBS World News Radio: Facebook is dismissing Israeli government claims that its founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has 'some of the blood' of an Israeli terror victim on his hands, because it did not censor Palestinian incitement and hate speech.

Following recent deadly attacks on Israelis, Israel's Minister of Internal Security, Gilad Erdan, has accused Facebook and its founder, Mark Zuckerberg, of not doing enough to prevent incitement against Israel.

Speaking on Israeli TV, he accused the social media site of hindering the work of police.

"Facebook today sabotages, it should be known, sabotages the work of the Israeli police, because when the Israeli police approach them, and it is regarding a resident of Judea and Samaria, Facebook does not cooperate. It also sets a very high bar for removing inciteful content and posts."

Facebook responded with a statement in Hebrew saying it works regularly with safety organisations and policymakers around the world, including Israel, to ensure that people know how to make safe use of its site.

It added that there is no room on its platform for content that promotes violence, direct threats, terrorism or hate speeches.

Meanwhile, during the country's weekly cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Israel is taking new measures to stop the attacks.

"We are in the midst of an ongoing fight against terror, which has seen ups and downs. We use many different means, including new decisive measures which haven't been used before."

A spate of recent fatal attacks on Israelis include the killing of a 13 year-old girl in a West Bank Jewish settlement, Kiryat Arba.

Israel has responded by approving 42 new housing units over the weekend.

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman says it will send a message that every attack will only strengthen Israeli settlements.

Yaacov Ben Hemo is a resident of the Kiryat Arba settlement.

"In general, I believe that those who deal with security know better than I do how to bring about results, whether it's general pressure on (militant) groups, or on Facebook and things like that, to filter things more there, or whether it's a matter of putting pressure on the (Palestinian) society, so it won't be worth their while to be happy and to celebrate a day after they murder people."

Since October, Palestinians have killed 34 Israelis and two visiting US citizens in a wave of street attacks, mostly stabbings.

Israeli forces, meanwhile, have shot dead at least 200 Palestinians, 137 of whom Israel has said were assailants.

Husam Zumlot, an advisor to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, says he hopes Facebook continues to provide the space for people to express their views.

"Our struggle is through our peaceful demonstrations and peacefully resisting this occupation. Our struggle is to boycott and to sanction illegality. Facebook will not affect us but I hope that this Israeli piracy is not going to affect and to terrorize the international community and major communication tools like Facebook into submission and I hope it will continue being a platform for people to communicate and to express their views, of course within the limits of what is permitted and allowed."


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