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Digital rights group slams Israeli attempt to censor Palestinians on social media 

Sada social logo [Sada Social]
Sada social logo [Sada Social]

A Palestinian platform designed to protect online content shared by Palestinians has criticised Israel's attempt to "impose its hegemony on social media platforms" and censor content about the occupation state's ethnic cleansing of Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood as well as its war crimes committed in the Gaza Strip.

A statement from Sada Social followed a meeting last week between Israel's Defence Minister, Benny Gantz, and executives from Facebook and TikTok where he asked them to remove anti-Israel content. Sada pointed out that social media users advocating for Palestine and its people have since reported many violations of their digital rights.

"This includes the closure of accounts on Twitter or Instagram," explained director Eyad Rifai, "or the blocking of features on Instagram, such as streaming live videos, or restricting access to content related to Sheikh Jarrah, Gaza or Jerusalem."

READ: Twitter and Facebook accused of censoring Palestinian content

According to Sada Social, the most prominent violation was the closure of Quds News Network's TikTok account on Saturday.

The group called on social media administrators to stand "at the same distance" from all users without discrimination or prejudice to one party at the expense of the other. It also appealed to civil society organisations to shoulder their responsibilities for defending Palestinians' digital rights.

Israeli warplanes have carried out hundreds of airstrikes against Palestinian civilians in the besieged Gaza Strip over the past eight days. At least 188 Palestinians have been killed, including 55 children and 33 women, while a further 1,230 people have been wounded.

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