Instagram is preventing Palestinians from exposing Israeli crimes
The suffering of Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood residents once again to the forefront.
Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood makes the headlines once again, with Israeli occupation forces trying to usurp Palestinians' houses and evict them forcefully, on the one hand, and Palestinian residents, supporters, and activists standing up to the Israeli crimes and exposing them, on the other.
Here is what happened today.
This morning, the Israeli occupation forces besieged the house of the Palestinian Mahmoud Salhieh in Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood to confiscate it preparing to demolish it. Salhieh stood up against the Israeli forces and threatened to set himself on fire as a last resort to prevent them from taking his home and his sister’s.
All this was ignited when the Israeli occupation forces started the process of demolishing his workplace and threatened to expel him from his own home.
The Israeli media mentioned that Israeli occupation forces, including the so-called Al-Yamam Unit, gathered and surrounded the house.
Palestinian stones vs. Israeli bullets
In response to the Israeli acts of aggression, a group of young men gathered at the rooftop of Salhieh’s residence carrying stones, in preparation for any confrontation. Moreover, activists from all over Palestine flocked to support the Salhieh family against their forced eviction.
المقدسي محمود صالحية يعتصم مع عائلته داخل منزله ويهدد بحرق نفسه رفضًا لإخلائه في حي الشيخ جراح في القدس المحتلة pic.twitter.com/rxz8oAE9lc— رائد أبو جراد #غزة (@Abuya7ya23) January 17, 2022
It is worth noting that Salhieh’s house is located in Sheikh Jarrah Neighborhood in occupied Al-Quds, opposite the house of Mufti Al-Husseini, which was confiscated by the Israeli occupation who are in the process of building a settlement on its ruins.
"فلسطين عربية مش يهودية" .. الحاجة المقدسية أم محمود صالحية تعتصم داخل منزلها رفضا لقرار الاحتلال بإخلائه pic.twitter.com/GsFAR5cHdk— نداء الأقصى_ Nedaa Alaqssa (@Nedaa_Alaqssa) January 17, 2022
Social media silences Al-Kurd
Mona Al-Kurd, a Palestinian activist, was one of many live-streaming the ongoing events in the neighborhood trying to expose the Israeli crimes against Palestinian families. However, her streaming was cut off suddenly, which Al-Kurd later posted on her Instagram story explaining that her live-streaming feature was blocked, which exposes Instagram’s complicity and censorship of Palestinian content.
"Instagram is preventing me from going live," Al-Kurd said on her Instagram story, calling on her followers to join in on another activist's account.
Censorship of Palestinian content all over again
Censorship of Palestinian content is not new to some of the giant tech companies.
Meta, despite its new name, is playing the same game of censoring Palestinians. Toward the end of last year, activists and journalists have started a campaign against Meta's policies, which have been targeting Palestinian content and the Palestinian narrative.
This campaign came in light of a purge carried out by the tech giant, which saw Meta removing and suspending several Palestinian pages and thousands of accounts, including news pages that had been voicing out the Palestinian struggle against the Israeli occupation.
The purge mainly targeted Palestinian journalists known for their efforts of covering "Israel's" violations of the human rights of Palestinians and the occupation's crimes against Palestinians.
Activists have taken to denouncing Meta's double standard policy on its platforms.
Moreover, a Human Rights Watch report mentioned earlier that Facebook has wrongfully removed and suppressed content by Palestinians and their supporters, including content regarding human rights abuses committed by "Israel" against Palestinians during the Seif Al-Quds battle (the battle of the Sword of Jerusalem).
Palestinian journalists have raised concerns about what they call the unjust suppression of their content on Facebook, a serious issue several rights groups have already shed the light on.
On December 4, Palestine TV correspondent Christine Rinawi posted a video on her Facebook account in which Israeli occupation forces were seen intentionally shooting an unarmed Palestinian on the ground. The Palestinian was left martyred at the scene.
Shortly after she posted her video, Rinawi, who has nearly 400,000 followers, noticed it had been removed from her account.
This was not her first experience with Facebook's repression, and Rinawi said her account had already been restricted after she shared footage of an Israeli attack on Palestinians in Al-Quds last November.