In today’s digital world, messages can be spread to many thousands of people around the world – messages that are good, as well as those that are bad. The Times of Israel’s Marissa Newman reports that Israeli courts have convicted a Palestinian official for doing the latter – praising terrorists and inciting violence on Facebook:
The Jerusalem Magistrate Court on Tuesday sentenced the secretary general of Fatah’s Jerusalem branch to nine months in prison for using his personal Facebook account to incite violence and support terrorism against Israeli civilians.
The sentencing of Omar Shalabi, 44, a resident of the West Bank village of Eizaria, marks the first time Israeli courts handed out a prison sentence for incitement on social media…
The indictment against him referenced 10 Facebook statuses written between July and October of last year, at a time of heightened tensions in the capital, in which he hailed terrorists for various attacks.
Last October, following an assassination attempt on Temple Mount activist Yehudah Glick, Shalabi wrote that Glick was in serious condition, and wished him “hell and bad fate.”
A month later, on the day after Border Police officer Jedan Assad and 17-year-old Shalom Aharon Badani were killed in a car-ramming attack, Shalabi wrote: “In Jerusalem there are actions, not words. May God have mercy on the brave shahid [martyr] Ibrahim Akary and may he enter heaven.”
In another instance, he wrote: “Children of Jerusalem, be angered and continue on the path of despair and conflict that will simmer and purify Jerusalem and al-Aqsa from the defilement of the bastard Jews.”
Judge Eitan Kornhauser described the online posts as “grave incitement, including praise of heinous murderers and words of encouragement to carry out similar actions.”