Twitter has revealed that it blocked over 20 accounts belonging to Hamas and Hezbollah to meet demands issued by Israel.
In the first half of 2018, the social media giant blocked over 20 accounts belonging to senior figures of Hamas and Hezbollah, including those of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum and Rawhi Mushtaha, a close associate of Hamas’ leader in Gaza Yahya Al-Sinwar.
Twitter says it blocked 22 Hamas and Hezbollah accounts at Israel’s request https://t.co/2lwk1z7M6E
— The Times of Israel (@TimesofIsrael) December 20, 2018
Twitter’s decision came after it received a letter from the Cybercrime Department of Israel’s Ministry of Justice on June 26, demanding that it “permanently close” the accounts in question.
The letter – published by the Times of Israel yesterday – cited Article 24 of Israel’s Counterterror Law which “states that any act of solidarity with a terror organization, including any publication of support in its actions, is an offense punishable by three or five years’ imprisonment”.
You're kindly invited to join us in the Twitter storm on tomorrow Saturday at 7:00p.m in remembrance of31st anniversary of Hamas Resistance Movement and in affirmation of the right to defend Palestinian people.
Plz share your thoughts on Hamas using hashtags #Hamas31 #WhatsHamas pic.twitter.com/K1kaT5ds5R
— ??Majd zakaria?? (@majdzsin) December 14, 2018
This is not the only time Twitter has bowed to Israeli pressure to restrict content and accounts. Earlier this month it emerged that Twitter has been enforcing Israel’s gag order on details of its botched operation in Gaza, instructing a number of media outlets to remove posts revealing the identity of Israel’s undercover operatives.
Like other media and individuals reporting on this story that was subject to Israeli military censorship, The Electronic Intifada is now apparently facing direct censorship by @Twitter. We were forced to remove this tweet. pic.twitter.com/7R8N75bU4g pic.twitter.com/eyXpXRkkDu
— جيزيل تورجون (@Giseleturgeon2) December 11, 2018
The Electronic Intifada (EI) disclosed that it had received a message from Twitter instructing it to delete a tweet linking to a story about the operation, despite the fact that, as a US-based organization, it is not required to comply with the gag order Israel places on its own media.
(MEMO, PC, Social Media)