Facebook Unblocks Account That Posted Letter by Jailed Palestinian ex-MP

Amira Hass
Amira Hass
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Khalida Jarrar after her release from an Israeli prison near the West Bank town of Tulkarem in 2016.
Khalida Jarrar after her release from an Israeli prison near the West Bank town of Tulkarem in 2016.Credit: Majdi Mohammed / AP
Amira Hass
Amira Hass

Facebook unblocked on Tuesday the account of a Palestinian user, whose account was suspended for sharing a letter by jailed Palestinian former lawmaker and activist Khalida Jarrar. 

Jarrar is serving a two-year sentence in Israel for being a member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, and is due to be released in four months. Last week, Israel barred Jarrar from attending the funeral of her daughter, who died from cardiac arrest.

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Omar Nazzal's account was suspended last Thursday for sixty days, just hours after he uploaded the second letter Jarrar had written since she learned of her daughter's death.

"This is an intense human summary of the life of a Palestinian who loves life, hope and freedom, and hates slavery and colonialism. The occupation takes from us everything, even the air we breathe, and bans everything, as it banned me from saying goodbye to my little bird Suha," Jarrar wrote. 

Facebook did not answer Haaretz's inquiry on Saturday as to why the account was suspended in the first place.

The message sent by Facebook. Credit: Screenshot

The Israel Prison Service refused Jarrar’s request to attend the funeral of her daughter, Suha, who died of heart failure at the age of 31. A letter Jarrar wrote when she learned that she was not allowed to attend the funeral was read last Tuesday at the funeral and widely circulated on Facebook and other social media.

Nazzal, a close friend of the Jarrar's, is a journalist, and has been held by Israel in administrative detention in the past. He posted the letter to his Facebook account last week and five hours later, an announcement in English from Facebook appeared on his account, stating: “You can’t go live or advertise for 60 days. This is because you previously posted something that didn’t follow our Community Standards.”

The announcement, which cut off Jarrar’s letter at the top, allowing only the first sentence to be seen, continued: “This post goes against our standards on dangerous individuals and organizations, so only you can see it.”

It was Nazzal who found Suha’s body in her Ramallah home Sunday, after her father, who had spent a day in Jenin, and her sister, Yafa, who lives in Canada, were unable to reach her.

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