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Fatah attempts to hide its terror promotion from Facebook

Itamar Marcus  |
  • Last week Fatah closed its Facebook page and removed 17 of the terror promoting posts documented in PMW’s report on Fatah’s use of the page in first half of 2019

  • Nearly 100 terror promotion posts exposed by PMW reports still remain

  • PMW has supplied Facebook with links to the posts removed and those not removed to illustrate what Fatah decided to hide and what they left on the page

  • PMW Comment: Facebook removes terror promotion in “real time,” except when the murder of Israelis is being celebrated and promoted. While Facebook is bragging internationally about fighting terror, Palestinian terror is being embedded in the hearts and minds of the next generation of potential terrorists, thanks to Facebook

After Palestinian Media Watch launched an international campaign calling on Facebook to close Fatah's terror glorifying Facebook page, Fatah closed its page for several days last week. The administrator of the page explained the move by saying they "were worried that Facebook would shut it down permanently because of ... [PMW's] campaign and complaints against it."
After Fatah reopened it, PMW checked what Fatah did while its Facebook page was closed and discovered that Fatah had removed what they seem to have thought were the worst terror promotion posts in a clear attempt to hide them from Facebook.
Here are some of the posts that PMW exposed in its reports covering 2018 and first half of 2019 that Fatah chose to delete and hide last week:
  • Two posts honoring a 17-year-old female suicide bomber, the youngest female suicide bomber, including these words: "Magnificent Martyrdom-seeker, daughter of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, Ayyat Al-Akhras."
  • Three posts honoring three different planners of the Munich Olympic massacre which murdered 11 Israeli athletes. One text said it was posted "for the 46th anniversary of the Munich operation... commander Martyr Salah Khalaf [explained] the motive behind the Munich operation..." 
  • Two posts honoring terrorist Ahmed Nasr Jarrar, the murderer of a father of 6, one year after his terror attack: The "ideal example of humanity," "heroic," "magnificent," "young lion" "the crown jewel," and "the star of the night that guides those wandering on the path."
  • A post celebrating the murder of 11 Israelis at Savoy Hotel hostage-taking attack as a "quality operation"
  • Posts glorifying terrorist murderer Dalal Mughrabi, who led the murder of 37 civilians, including 12 children. One of the posts said that she committed her attack in order to "fulfill her true role as a mother." 
  • Three posts honoring terrorist Omar Abu Laila, posted within days after he murdered two Israelis. He was defined as a "perfect person" and worthy of "a military salute" and wished him "glory and eternity."
  • A post calling for violence all over Israel, with these words: "The program of activities... an escalation of the confrontations... in all districts of the homeland as a sign of opposition deal of the century..." The post included an illustration of a masked man throwing a rock.
  • A post honoring the terrorist who detonated a bomb hidden inside a refrigerator, murdering 15 civilians. Fatah called on Palestinians to share the post "so that our children will know about it"
  • A post honoring the founders and heads of the terror organizations: the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Hamas, PFLP, Black September, and Fatah
  • A post honoring Japanese Red Army terrorist Kozo Okamoto who murdered 24 tourists, mostly from Puerto Rico, in his attack on the Israeli airport
  • A post announcing that Abbas' decision to raise a terrorist prisoner who is serving 14 life sentences for murder to the "rank of major general"
  • Posts honoring Abu Jihad, terrorist responsible for the murder of 25 Israelis, were removed.
  • Post honoring terrorist Muhannad Halabi who stabbed two people to death and also stabbed and injured a woman and her two-year-old son. In the post he was called a "Heroic Martyr."
  • Post praising a terrorist who murdered his two Israeli coworkers, defining the murder as fulfilling a religiously sanctioned act by murdering civilians: "Allah is protecting you."
  • A graphic which includes the words: "Our revolution continues until the liberation of all of Palestine", which demonstrates that Fatah's mission continues to include terror until Israel is destroyed.
  • Other graphics which included rifles were likewise removed, one promised continued terror with the words: "Millions of Martyrs are marching to Jerusalem."
These and additional posts glorifying and promoting terror were removed by Fatah from its Facebook page while it was closed in the attempt to prevent the permanent shut down of the page. However many of the posts glorifying and promoting terror still remain, including:

Post praising murderer of 2, Abu Laila:
Fatah presented the murderer as "heroic Martyr" and "knight" who carried out "operation of heroism": "The Shabiba Movement of Fatah in Palestine accompanies to his wedding (i.e., Martyr's funeral is wedding to the 72 Virgins in Paradise, in Islam).
Heroic Martyr Omar Abu Laila, who carried out the operation of heroism..."
 [Official Fatah Facebook page, March 20, 2019]
Post glorifying murderer of 37, Dalal Mughrabi, calling her a "legend" and "a beacon for the generations" who "captured every Palestinian heart":
"The legend that will not die, self-sacrificing fighter (Fida'iya) Martyr Dalal Sa'id Mughrabi, considered one of the symbols of our revolution and a beacon for the generations. She has captured every Palestinian heart."
As stated, dozens of posts glorifying and promoting terror still appear on Fatah’s page. PMW has informed Facebook of this attempt by Fatah to hide its terror promotion and has provided them with the links to all the terror promoting posts that were taken down and that remain.

As PMW has shown, terror promoting content is not all that is wrong with Fatah's Facebook page. PMW documented recently that Fatah also promotes Antisemitism, even explaining the Nazi justification for killing Jews in the Holocaust. 

PMW states again that it is incomprehensible that Facebook chooses to serve a platform for all this Fatah hate and terror promotion. We again urge Facebook to follow its own rules, which prohibits using its platform to any organization whose mission includes violence, and close Fatah's page.

In his recent speech at the World Summit on Counter-Terrorism, on Sept. 9, 2019, Director of Facebook's Global Counterterrorism Policy Team Brian Fishman stated that Facebook does "not allow" its platform to be used to praise terrorists:
"The basic approach at Facebook is that terrorists are not allowed. By policy there may be no praise, support, or representation of a terrorist organization, a terrorist actor, a terrorist event, etc."
In fact PMW's reports show that Fatah does all of that and worse on its Facebook page, and PMW has pointed this out to Facebook more than once. Yet Facebook continues to leave the platform open for Fatah's terror promotion.
Fishman further explained that Facebook finds that governments and academics are acting too slow in terms of designating who are "terrorist actors" and therefore designates such themselves:
"We [Facebook] designate terrorist actors ourselves. This is pretty unique, but the reason we do this is because although there are a variety of lists of terrorist organizations in the world that are maintained by academics, that are maintained by governments, we find that academics and governments act too slowly. They don't actually maintain comprehensive lists in real time, and the expectation on us by our users and by the community globally is that we are able to respond to these things in near real time."
One can only marvel at the speed with which Facebook claims that it responds to terror promotion when looking at its inaction in the face of PMW’s thorough documentation. Nine months ago Facebook was supplied by PMW with explicit evidence that Fatah’s mission includes terror and violence. Yet in its statement to the Jerusalem Post last week Facebook said: 
"We have received reports about potentially violating content on this page and, as we do with all such reports, are in the process of reviewing that content to determine whether it violates our policies."
Facebook boasting would be laughable, if its behavior was not life-threatening. Facebook claims to have a policy according to which “there may be no praise, support, or representation of a terrorist organization, a terrorist actor, a terrorist event,” and boasts ‘we are able to respond to these things in near real time.”
In the case of Fatah, Facebook has failed repeatedly to deal with the terror promotion on its platform. Despite being provided with the evidence, Facebook did nothing to remove Fatah’s terror glorifying and promoting posts. While their actions were no more than piece-meal, it appears that even Fatah accepted PMW’s claim that many of their posts contained terror glorification and promotion and decided to take them down.
Facebook removes terror promotion in “real time,” except when the murder of Israelis is being celebrated and promoted. For Israelis a full nine months is necessary and Facebook is still “in the process of reviewing that content,” that clearly celebrates and promotes terror.
While Facebook is bragging about fighting terror, Palestinian terror is being embedded in the hearts and minds of the next generation of potential terrorists, thanks to Facebook.