Arab Poet Jailed for Online Incitement to Terrorism

YERUSHALAYIM (Reuters) -

The Nazareth Magistrate’s Court jailed an Israeli Arab poet for five months on Tuesday after convicting her of incitement to terrorism for a poem and remarks she posted on social media during a wave of Palestinian street attacks.

Dareen Tatour, 36, posted on social media a video of herself reading out her poem “Resist, My People, Resist,” as a soundtrack to footage of masked Palestinian youths throwing stones and firebombs at IDF soldiers.

Tatour published her poem in October 2015 during a spate of deadly Palestinian stabbing, shooting and ramming attacks on Israelis. She was arrested a few days later, and prosecutors said her post was a call for violence. She denied this.

Her case drew attention to the advanced technology used by Israeli security agencies to trawl through social media to identify and arrest users suspected of incitement to violence, or of planning attacks.

Tatour said her poem was misunderstood by the Israeli authorities as it was not a call for violence, rather for nonviolent struggle.

Tatour was also charged with supporting a terrorist group. Prosecutors said she had expressed support for the terror group Islamic Jihad’s call for an uprising.

The court added a six-month suspended sentence to Tatour’s jail time. Her lawyer, Gaby Lasky, said Tatour would appeal both the verdict and the sentence.

Israel says the string of Palestinian attacks that began in 2015 was fueled by online incitement and it has launched a legal crackdown to curb it.

Indictments for online incitement have tripled in Israel since 2014.