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PMW's great success: Fatah’s terror promoting Facebook page closed

Itamar Marcus  |
  • Following PMW’s two major reports and a two-week public pressure campaign, as of this morning Fatah’s Facebook page is no longer accessible
  • Yesterday Palestinian media accused PMW of “waging a new war against the Fatah Movement’s Facebook page,” while the editor of Fatah’s page defended its terror promotion

By Itamar Marcus

Following Palestinian Media Watch's two major reports and a two-week public pressure campaign, Fatah’s terror promoting Facebook page is closed as of this morning. PMW's campaign started in February this year when we released a detailed report about Fatah’s Facebook page documenting its terror glorification and incitement to violence during 2018. The report showed that Fatah’s content was in direct violation of Facebook’s guidelines. Inexplicably, Facebook refused to close the page at that time.

PMW followed up with a new report released earlier this month, documenting the terror promoting content on Fatah’s Facebook page during the first 6 months of 2019, which was likewise sent to Facebook. In addition, PMW also launched a public social media campaign with many partner organizations worldwide, developed by volunteers at ACT-IL, which was aimed at Facebook's directors, urging them to close down Fatah’s page. The campaign included daily tweets and Facebook posts showing Fatah’s terror promoting content on Facebook, and also included a public campaign through which individuals and organizations sent a pre-written letter of protest to Facebook. Thousands of ACT-IL activists from 74 countries and other PMW partner organizations sent thousands of emails to Facebook's policy directors, and made thousands of reports directly on the page through Facebook.

As of this morning Fatah's Facebook page is down, and this is the response when trying to access the page: 
PMW thanks ACT-IL and their thousands of volunteers and the many other partners, organizations, and individuals who joined PMW in this project to close down Fatah's Facebook page. With your help we eliminated the terror promotion, and saved lives.

Already yesterday, Fatah was alarmed by PMW’s campaign. Fatah posted three different items about the campaign against its Facebook page, refusing to refer to Palestinian Media Watch by name, preferring to call us "the occupation," a term it often uses to refer to Israel. 

Fatah posted copies of PMW’s posts calling to close the Fatah page, in which they accused PMW of inciting against them and asked its followers to “support the page”:
 

"The occupation (i.e., Palestinian Media Watch) is inciting against the Fatah Facebook page in order to close it. Please support the page and spread it."

[Official Fatah Facebook page, Sept. 24, 2019;

Facebook page of Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Muhaisen, Sept. 24, 2019]

In its posts yesterday Fatah expressed its concern that Facebook would close its page and again called on its followers to support them:
Posted text: "What has been published on our page about the acts of the Israeli occupation, its assassinations, and its expansions policy against our people is just the tip of the iceberg regarding the occupation’s actions. Will Facebook respond to the occupation’ (i.e., PMW’s) call to close the Fatah Movement Facebook page that is affiliated with the Commission of Mobilization and Organization that is exposing the shame of the most despicable occupation in the world? Support the page at this link"

In addition, Fatah posted the page created by ACT-IL showing the number of emails sent to Facebook demanding the page be closed, and again asked for support.

Posted text: "The Israeli occupation (i.e., Palestinian Media Watch) is dedicating a page to sending emails in order to close the Fatah Movement's Facebook page. Please support the Fatah page at the following link"

[Official Fatah Facebook page, Sept. 24, 2019;

Facebook page of Fatah Central Committee member Jamal Muhaisen, Sept. 24, 2019]

Palestinian media reported that PMW “is waging a war” against Fatah’s Facebook page:
“The Israeli occupation (i.e., PMW) is waging a new war against the Fatah Movement’s Facebook page... The occupation is claiming that the page glorifies Palestinians that carry out operations (i.e., terror attacks) against the occupation.” 
[Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, Sept. 24, 2019]
In response to the campaign, the head of Fatah’s Facebook page, Munir Al-Jaghoub, defended Fatah’s terror promoting content on Facebook:
“We in Fatah are proud of our Martyrs, who defended their homeland and fought the gangs of murderers, who Israel glorifies.”
[Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, Sept. 24, 2019]
Al-Jaghoub also complained that “the occupation closed a page with 250.000 likes in the past on the pretext of incitement.” This was reference to PMW’s bringing about the closing of Fatah’s previous official page called “the Main Page,” which Facebook shut down in 2015, following extensive reports by PMW about the terror promoting content.
 
When PMW released its first report about the Official Fatah Facebook page content in 2018, Al-Jaghoub explained that the posts promoting violence were mere "symbolism" and that post glorifying the murder of more than 11,000 Israelis were “only a statistic.”
 
Fatah’s page had nearly 224,000 followers:
 

Two of yesterday’s Fatah posts were also posted by Jamal Muhaisen, Fatah Central Committee member, Fatah Commissioner of Mobilization and Organization in the West Bank, and PLO Central Council member.
 
Despite Fatah’s referring to PMW as “the occupation,” PMW is a completely independent NGO and receives no Israeli government funding.
 
The following are a longer excerpt of the report on Fatah’s reaction to PMW’s campaign to close its Facebook page:
 
Headline: “A wave of incitement against the Fatah Facebook page”
“As part of its attack against the Palestinian content on social media, and specifically Facebook, the Israeli occupation (i.e., PMW) is waging a new war against the Fatah Movement’s Facebook page, which is under the [Fatah] Commission of Mobilization and Organization. The occupation is claiming that the page glorifies Palestinians that carry out operations (i.e., terror attacks) against the occupation, and settler websites (i.e., PMW and its website http://palwatch.org/) have published pictures of content that was published on the Fatah Facebook page.
(PMW Note: The PA media routinely refers to any one in Israel that it wants to demonize as “settler.” When American army veteran and university student Taylor Force was murdered in Tel Aviv PA TV referred to him as a “settler.” [Official PA TV, March 8, 2016] -Ed)
 
Head of the media bureau in the Commission of Mobilization and Organization Munir Al-Jaghoub said that the occupation closed a page with 250.000 likes in the past on the pretext of incitement. (PMW note: This was reference to PMW’s bringing about the closing of Fatah’s previous official page called “the Main Page,” which Facebook shut down in 2015, following extensive reports by PMW about the terror promoting content.)
 
Al-Jaghoub added that the Israelis are proud of their gangs, which have murdered Palestinians as part of the massacres that are recorded in history, such as the massacre in Deir Yassin, Qibya (see notes below -Ed.), and others during what they consider ‘the War of Liberation (sic., Independence),’ and later in Sabra, Shatila, Jenin (sic.; see notes below - Ed.), Nablus, and Gaza (PMW could find no record of a massacre or claimed massacre in Nablus or Gaza -Ed.). He noted that their books are full of glorification of commanders of the Zionist military groups who established the occupation state, and even glorification of all of the leaders who have carried out crimes against the Palestinians recently.
He said: ‘We in Fatah are proud of our Martyrs, who defended their homeland and fought the gangs of murderers, who Israel glorifies.’
Al-Jaghoub added: ‘What is published on our page regarding the actions of the Israeli occupation, its assassinations, and its policy of expansion against our people is just a little of what the occupation does.’
He wondered: ‘Will Facebook respond to the occupation’s (i.e., PMW’s) call to close the Fatah Facebook page, which is under the [Fatah] Commission of Mobilization and Organization, and which exposes the shame of the most despicable occupation in the world?’”
[Ma’an, independent Palestinian news agency, Sept. 24, 2019]
 
Pictures accompanying the article show different parts of the PMW campaign to close the official Fatah Facebook page, which exposes various things posted to the Fatah Facebook page such as glorification of terrorist Kjhalil Al-Wazir “Abu Jihad,” responsible for the murder of 125 Israelis, an image of men with rifles wearing keffiyehs and Fatah headbands, and images of children with rifles wearing keffiyehs.
 
Deir Yassin - On April 9, 1948, Jewish fighters from the Irgun and Lehi military groups, part of the forces opening the blockaded road to Jerusalem, attacked the Arab village of Deir Yassin. When the battle was over, the village had fallen and in addition to the Arab fighters killed, 107 civilians were also killed. Narratives differ as to whether the civilians were killed in the crossfires or were intentionally murdered by the Irgun and Lehi fighters.
 
Qibya - On Oct. 14, 1953, a special Israeli cross-border counter-terror unit, Unit 101, led by Commander Ariel Sharon, carried out an operation in Qibya in Jordan, in response to an attack the previous day in which Jordanian terrorists infiltrated the border and murdered an Israeli woman and 2 children in Tiryat Yehuda with a grenade, and following hundreds of cross-border attacks since 1949 in which at least 124 Israelis had been murdered. In the counter-terror operation in Qibya, Unit 101 destroyed 50 homes with explosives, killing 69 Jordanian civilians who were hiding in the houses. Sharon reported that his forces were unaware of their presence.
 
Sabra and Shatila are Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. In 1982, during the first Lebanon War, Muslim residents of the camps were massacred by Christian Phalangists. The PA has a longstanding policy of falsely accusing Israel of committing the massacre or actively helping to carry it out.
 
Jenin - refugee camp north of Nablus that was a major hotbed of terrorism in the PA terror campaign 2000-2005 (the second Intifada). To reduce the attacks, Israeli forces entered Jenin on April 3, 2002, to conduct searches as part of Operation Defensive Shield, which was carried out to destroy the terror infrastructure in the West Bank, and several days of intense fighting against Palestinian terrorists in booby-trapped houses ensued. While the PA claimed that the Israeli forces committed a “massacre” and killed hundreds of civilians, a UN report refuted these claims, confirming that 52 Palestinians were killed in the battle of which the majority were terrorists. 23 Israeli soldiers were also killed in the fighting.
 
Abu Jihad (Khalil Al-Wazir) - was a founder of Fatah and deputy to Yasser Arafat. He headed the PLO terror organization's military wing and also planned many deadly Fatah terror attacks in the 1960’s - 1980’s. These attacks, in which a total of 125 Israelis were murdered, included the most lethal in Israeli history - the hijacking of a bus and murder of 37 civilians, 12 of them children.
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