Facebook labels Palestinian journalism “hate speech”

from Electronic Intifada

Facebook is defending its decision to shut down the page of a major Palestinian news outlet, describing the action as a move against “hate speech.”

On Saturday, the social media giant closed without warning the page of the Safa Palestinian Press Agency, which had 1.3 million followers, as well as Safa’s account on the photo sharing site Instagram.

On Tuesday, the Palestinian Media Association condemned Facebook’s widening assault on the free speech of Palestinian journalists, calling it “clear submission to the policies and dictates of the Israeli occupation which is pursuing Palestinian activists on the basis of their political views and intellectual positions and issuing prison sentences against them.”

But Facebook is justifying the removal of Safa’s account. “This page was correctly removed for violating our community standards,” a company spokesperson emailed The Electronic Intifada Monday evening. “There is no room for hate speech or incitement of violence on our platform.”…

According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Facebook’s latest crackdown on Palestinian journalists and activists began several weeks ago, after Israeli occupation forces extrajudicially executed Ahmad Nasser Jarrar, a man Israel claims was involved in the shooting death of an Israeli settler in early January.

Israeli lawmakers also discussed how to suppress online content, including getting Facebook to take down images of Jarrar.

Since the beginning of the year, Haaretz says, citing an unnamed Palestinian activist who monitors the issue, about 500 Facebook pages of Palestinian activists and journalists have been closed by the company…

[read more here]

Erdogan calls Netanyahu a ‘terrorist’ in wake of Gaza deaths

from RT

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has launched a blistering attack on Benjamin Netanyahu, calling his Israeli counterpart the “leader of a terrorist state” following the deadly shooting of protesters in Gaza.

Erdogan made the comments at his party’s congress in southern Turkey. Addressing the event, the president slammed Netanyahu’s criticism of Turkey’s military operation in Syria. “I do not need to tell the world how cruel the Israeli army is. We can see what this terror state is doing by looking at the situation in Gaza and Jerusalem,” Erdogan said, according to the Daily Sabah.

“Israel has carried out a massacre in Gaza and Netanyahu is a terrorist. We will continue to expose Israeli terror all the time and on all platforms,” he added.

Erdogan’s remarks are just the latest in a rapidly escalating war of words between the two nations. Earlier this week, Netanyahu suggested that Erdogan was playing an April Fool’s Day prank when his spokesman described Friday’s killing of protesters in Gaza as “inhumane.”

[read more here]

Listen to Israeli Prime Minister’s Propaganda Mouthpiece, David Keyes, LIE THROUGH HIS TEETH about #greatreturnmarch

This is sickening to listen to. One lie after another after another after another. When he is finally asked by the interviewer for some specific evidence of Palestinian protesters “firing guns and rockets at Israeli soldiers” he says “well, large rocks can kill as well”

This man is deranged. He’s mentally ill.

Bernie Sanders condemns Israel’s killing of Palestinian protesters

from the Daily Sabah

S. Senator from Vermont and former Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders criticized Israel’s violent response to Palestinian protesters and urged the U.S. administration to work towards improving the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

Sanders, who is Jewish, said in a tweet on Saturday that the killing of Palestinian protesters near the Gaza border was tragic, calling the situation in the blockaded enclave a “humanitarian disaster.”

“The killing of Palestinian demonstrators by Israeli forces in Gaza is tragic. It is the right of all people to protest for a better future without a violent response.” Sen. Sanders

The senator also said that the United States must play a positive role in ending the blockade and help Palestinians and Israelis build a future together that “works for all.”

The 76-year-old senator has become the first prominent U.S. politician to openly criticize the Israeli response to the peaceful protesters. Turkey has condemned the country for the killings while the EU said: “Israel has the responsibility to use it proportionately.”…

[read more here]

Abbas announces ‘day of mourning’ as Gaza death toll reaches 16

from al Araby

President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas declared Saturday as a day of national mourning for the 16 Gazans killed by Israeli forces while commemorating the 42nd anniversary of Land Day.

Friday became the conflict’s worst single day of violence since the 2014 Gaza war with some 1,600 injured, over 700 of them by live bullets and the remainder by rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas inhalation.

At least 20 are in critical condition in Gaza’s hospitals, which have been overwhelmed by the skyrocketing number of casualties occurring over just several hours on Friday.

Abbas called on the United Nations to provide international protection for the defenseless Palestinian people, pointing out that the especially high number of Palestinian casualties seen on Friday confirms the need for intervention by the international community…

[read more here]

Israel kills 15 Palestinians in Gaza

by Maureen Clare Murphy from Electronic Intifada

Fifteen Palestinians were reported killed in the Gaza Strip on Friday as Israel used massive violence against tens of thousands of demonstrators who had gathered along the Gaza-Israel boundary.

Nearly 1,500 were injured, according to Gaza’s health ministry, nearly half by live fire. Twenty were said to be in critical condition.

“Medical facilities in Gaza, which have already been overstrained by the longstanding shortages of medical supplies, electricity and fuel, are struggling to cope with the overwhelming number of casualties,” the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs stated

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UN Security Council holds emergency meeting over deadly Israel-Palestine border clash

from RT

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting concerning ‘Great Return’ protest clashes along the Israeli-Palestine border. The UN chief has called for an investigation into the violence that reportedly killed 16 Palestinians.

In a statement issued in the wake of the UN Security Council emergency meeting, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that “his thoughts are with the families of the victims” that were killed or injured during the violent clashes at the Gaza border.

“The Secretary-General calls for an independent and transparent investigation into these incidents,” the statement, issued by his office, reads.

The meeting was called by Kuwait, which, along with Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and other countries with predominantly Muslim population, voiced their anger over the way the Israeli army retaliated against mass unrest that erupted along the border with Gaza Strip on Friday.

The meeting was set to kick off at 6:30 pm local time [10:30 pm GMT]. It was initially reported that the meeting would proceed behind closed doors, meaning that neither Israeli nor Palestinian representatives would be able to partake in the discussion. However, the session was ultimately held in the open…

The Israeli representatives, meanwhile, chose not to attend the meeting because it coincided with the start of the Passover holiday. Riyad Mansour, the Permanent Observer of Palestine to the United Nations, was present at the meeting and took to the floor after all the UNSC permanent and non-permanent members made their statements…

Some 1,416 people were injured in the altercation and at least 16 were killed, according to figures provided by the Gaza Health Ministry. Roughly half of the injuries were inflicted by live fire…

[read more here]