SHAFAQNA – An Israeli court on Tuesday sentenced a Palestinian man to eight months of imprisonment with an additional six months suspended for activity on social media. The Jerusalem detainees’ families committee said that the Israeli magistrate’s court had handed the sentence to Sami Jamal Faraj Ideis, 28, from Shufat after he was convicted of inciting anti-Jewish violence and supporting “terror” in posts and comments on Facebook.
Ideis was one of eight Palestinian men detained in December 2014 in East Jerusalem under the same charges.
Their indictment said that Israeli intelligence had monitored the men’s Facebook postings since last June, which intelligence said had raised tensions across Jerusalem and encouraged acts of “terrorism.”
They cited in particular postings on the murder of 16-year-old Muhammad Abu Khdeir, who was kidnapped and killed by a group of Jewish extremists in July, as well as on a spate of Palestinian attacks on Israeli military and civilians that mostly took place in occupied East Jerusalem.
Ideis’ sentence comes less than a week after another of the eight Palestinians detained with him — the former secretary-general of Fatah in Jerusalem Omar al-Shalabi — was sentenced to nine months in an Israeli prison for Facebook posts.
Two others from the group — Adnan Ghaith, the current secretary-general of Fatah in Jerusalem, and Islam al-Natsheh — were in April released from Israeli prisons following five months without trial.
Israelis on social media routinely and openly incite violence against Palestinians, especially during heightened periods of tensions such as this summer’s military offensive on Gaza, but none have yet faced prosecution.
In recent months, the Palestinian Authority has also arrested Palestinians over postings on Facebook that have been critical of the PA and the Palestinian security services.