Facebook takes down Hamas accounts

Facebook has taken down the social media accounts of several Hamas members, at the height of the local Gaza election campaign.

Rachel Kaplan ,

Facebook Mark Zuckerberg with Shimon Peres
Facebook Mark Zuckerberg with Shimon Peres
Flash 90

Facebook reportedly closed the account of Hamas leader Ismail Radwan on Facebook, in addition Sami Abu Zuhri, Fawzi Barhoum and Salah Bardawil, in the midst of municipal Gazan election season. Hamas leaders frequently use their social media accounts to garner support for terrorism and incitement to terror.

Last week, Facebook closed the account of Islamic Jihad leader Khaled al-Batsh. Throughout July, Facebook closed the accounts of the Deputy Chairman of the Hamas Politburo Musa Abu Marzouk, Khaled Meshaal confidante Ezzat al-Rishq, and a number of Hamas student leaders.

Speaking to Palestinian news agency Ma'an, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qassim claims that the closures are an act of Israeli internet terror, despite no known connection between Israel and Facebook's managers.

“The occupation fears the revelation of its scandalous crimes at the expense of the Palestinian people through posts on social media,” Qassim said with bravado.

The closures come after New York-based legal advocacy organization Shurat HaDin took action in late 2015, suing Facebook for publishing incitement to terror, as well as for discriminating between Israeli and Palestinian pages. Facebook finally complied in July.

Back in January, Facebook insisted that “does not tolerate hate speech, including against people on the basis of their nationality. We review all reports and take down such content."