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September 26, 2019 10:26 am

Fatah Takes Down Facebook Page to Head Off NGO Campaign

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A post on Fatah’s official Facebook page glorifying 17-year-old suicide-bomber Ayyat al-Akhras, March 28, 2019. Photo: PMW. – A Facebook page linked to Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah faction was shut down on Wednesday, due to mounting complaints about the page’s content.

The page’s editor, Munir al-Jaghoub, told The Times of Israel that Fatah had temporarily closed the page due to concerns Facebook would remove it as a result of the numerous complaints that it supported and incited terrorism.

“We decided to close it down for a period of time as a precautionary measure,” al-Jaghoub told the Times of Israel. “We were worried that Facebook would shut it down permanently because of that Israeli organization’s [Palestinian Media Watch] campaign and complaints against it.”

PMW launched a social media campaign earlier this month calling on Facebook to close down the page, which it said was being used to “incite and glorify hatred and violence.”

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Al-Jaghoub said that the page would be reactivated when Fatah felt the time was right.

“We will be patient,” he said according to the Times of Israel. “We can reactivate it at any moment, but we want to make sure we do that after this wave of attacks against the page passes.”

In response, PMW Director Itamar Marcus said:  “PMW views al-Jaghoub’s statement as a striking indicator of the terror content of Fatah’s Facebook page that Fatah itself decided to close it down and hide it from public scrutiny … There is no justification for Facebook to permit Fatah to reopen its page. We hope that Facebook will recognize what Fatah itself understands, namely that its Facebook page promotes terror, and keep Fatah’s page permanently closed.”

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