Middle East Tech World

Sat 08 May 2021:

At least 205 Palestinians and 17 officers were injured in the night-time clashes at Islam’s third-holiest site and around East Jerusalem, Palestinian medics and Israeli police said, as thousands of Palestinians faced off with several hundred Israeli police in riot gear.

Video footage from the scene shows worshippers throwing chairs, shoes and rocks towards the police and officers opening fire. Israeli police also closed gates leading to Al-Aqsa inside the walled Old City.

Social media users worldwide, especially those with origin in Palestine, have criticised social media apps for censoring content about attacks on residents and activists by Israeli forces and settlers in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.

Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have reportedly censored, as well as deleted posts and hashtags related to the recent tensions in occupied Jerusalem, Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.

“Instagram and its parent, Facebook, have been censoring posts related to Sheikh Jarrah for at least the past day,” independent website Mondoweiss, which is devoted to informing readers about developments in Israel, Palestine, and related US foreign policy, said on Twitter.


It also retweeted a post that said Instagram has limited posts with hashtag #Jerusalem in English and Arabic.

Users on Twitter criticised social media companies for censoring content related to Sheikh Jarrah.

“Twitter is fighting the Palestinian content which exposes the crime of displacing Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, in Jerusalem,” said NewPress, adding that its English account has been suspended by the “Twitter administration.”

Similarly, NewPress tweeted, “Twitter administration suspended the NewPress English account. Twitter is fighting the Palestinian content which exposes the crime of displacing Palestinians from Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, in Jerusalem.”

Sada Social, a Palestinian digital rights organisation, condemned Twitter’s administration for shutting down dozens of activists’ accounts. “Sada Social considers the closure of these accounts as a punishment for activists and collusion between the Twitter administration and the Israeli security services, in order to reduce interaction with the Sheikh Jarrah cause,” a statement said.

Several Instagram users have criticised social media app Instagram for blocking them from sharing live videos about AlQuds, censoring their posts and temporary blocking them from sharing related news.

“Posts from your account have recently been removed for going against our Community Guidelines,” the Instagram pop-up says.

Social media users from the ground and around the world have uploaded and shared video content and images about the attacks, using the hashtag in both English and Arabic #SaveSheikhJarrah.

Dr. Yara Hawari, Palestinian academic, writer & senior policy analyst for Alshabaka, tweeted, “Instagram is deleting Palestinian activists’ stories on the ethnic cleansing happening in Sheikh Jarrah. This is not a conspiracy, this is not a fluke. Social media companies have been & will always be antithetical to revolution & resistance. #SaveSheikhJarrah”

Palestinians in Jerusalem have protested in solidarity with the residents of Sheikh Jarrah in recent days that has led to clashes with Israeli police.

Protests came as the Israeli Central Court in East Jerusalem approved a decision to evict seven Palestinian families from their homes in favour of Israeli settlers at the beginning of 2021.

Late Friday, the number of Palestinian injured rose to 205 in Israeli attacks at Al-Aqsa Mosque, Damascus Gate of the Old City, and the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem.

Israeli police attempted to disperse worshippers inside the Haram al-Sharif area of Al-Aqsa Mosque, using stun grenades and gas bombs. 




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