Facebook Blocks Israelis Who Called Palestinian Prison Breakers ‘Freedom Fighters'

Published September 13th, 2021 - 07:56 GMT
Zakaria Zubeidi
Zakaria Zubeidi is one of 6 Palestinian political prisoners who escaped the Gilboa jail last week. (Twitter)

Days after Israel announced capturing 4 of the Gilboa 6 Palestinian prisoners who were able to break in from the high-security jail in Northern Israel, reports that at least one of them has been facing torture by Israeli officers. Yet, social media networks are blocking the voices of users who are referring to them as "freedom fighters," even those by Israeli commentators.

Translation: "So is it allowed here to say that Zubeidi is a freedom fighter or are they going to block me as Facebook did?"

While photos of Zakaria Zubeidi, Mahmoud Arda, Mohammad Arda, and Yacoob Qadri being present in an Israeli court went viral after they were re-arrested by Israeli forces near Nazareth on Saturday night, Israeli online commentators have been weighing in on the incident, reporting Facebook censorship of their words, especially as some of them described the Palestinian political prisoners as "freedom fighters."

On Twitter, Israeli activist, editor, and journalist Orly Noy complained that Facebook removed a post in which she described Zakaria Zubeidi, the former leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades in Jenin as a "freedom fighter" and "a hero;" saying that the social network censored her view on the man who was a leading figure during the Intifada in the early 2000s.

In an article published later in the Hebrew website mekomit later, Noy said she thought Zakaria Zubeidi's heroism stems from the fact that he "survived the Israeli occupation" and not that "he is a warrior."

Noy said that Facebook notified her of the removal of her post an hour later, saying it violated the network's rules of the community, which "did not surprise her."

Other Israeli users of Twitter took the chance and commented on Noy's words by their own anecdotes of online censorship every time they try to speak up against the Israeli occupation or policies against Palestinians.

Meanwhile, the family of Zakaria Zubeidi, a leading figure in Fatah, have expressed their fears following reports of Zubeidi being transferred to the hospital after unverified reports of being tortured after going back to Israeli prisons.

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