Israel Arrests Jerusalem Palestinian Woman on Suspicion of Incitement to Terror on Facebook

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A woman looks at the Facebook logo.
A woman looks at the Facebook logo on an iPad in this photo illustration taken June 3, 2018.Credit: Regis Duvignau/Reuters/File Photo
Nir Hasson
Nir Hasson

Police in Jerusalem have arrested Suzanne Abu-Ghanem, a resident of the eastern part of the city, on suspicion of incitement using Facebook.

Abu-Ghanem is the mother of Hassan Abu Ghanem, who was shot to death by Israeli police a year ago in the course of a demonstration during a period of unrest involving the installation by Israel of metal detectors at the Temple Mount.

Abu Ghanem, who is a resident of the city's A-Tur neighborhood, was placed under arrest on Monday morning following an investigation of suspicions of her involvement in incitement to violence and terrorism and support for a terrorist organization, as a result of her posts on Facebook. She was brought before a magistrate's court judge who extended her detention until Thursday. The suspect's lawyer, Mohammad Mahmoud, appealed the decision to the district court, which denied the appeal.

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Suzanne Abu Ghanem

The police issued a statement describing the case as follows: "In the course of recent weeks, the police have conducted an undercover investigation against an East Jerusalem resident on suspicion of a long series of posts on a Facebook page in her name and on another social [media] platform that raise the suspicion of incitement to violence and terrorism and support for a terrorist organization."

Abu Ghanem's son was shot to death at an East Jerusalem demonstration during the unrest over the metal detectors that Israeli authorities place at the entrance to the Temple Mount following a terrorist attack in the area. Her son's body was snatched by Palestinians out of Makassed Hospital in the city so that it would not be seized by the police.

At the time, a video was posted on social media showing the young Palestinians lifting the body over the hospital's perimeter fence. Mahmoud, Suzanne Abu Ghanem's lawyer, said most of the posts over which his client was questioned related to her son's death and were posted at least five months ago.

In his decision to extend Abu Ghanem's detention, Magistrate's Court Judge David Gabai Richter wrote: "A review of the various posts show a reasonable suspicion of identification with a terrorist organization and incitement, but not reasonable suspicion of membership in a terrorist organization," and in reference to the Hamas Islamist organization that controls Gaza, the judge added: "The nature of the posts is problematic, to put it mildly, and therefore contains real incitement to act in the spirit of Hamas."

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