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Israeli forces arrest 25 Palestinian online activists

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) denounced the arrest and interrogation of a number of online Palestinian activists by Israeli forces over accusations of inciting citizens to gather at Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem.

On 6 November, the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) launched a widespread campaign against online activists whereby they detained 25 activists, aged 18 to 20, for posting a call on Facebook for people to gather at Al-Aqsa mosque. Activists also posted pictures of Israeli officers on the page. The Israeli forces confiscated their laptops and cell phones as well.

Twenty activists have been released on bail of 1000 shekels ($US283) each since. They were made to sign pledges promising they won't publish any calls on Facebook or any other social networking site that could be considered as incitement by the IOF. Five activists are stil detained pending investigations.

"The arrest of Palestinian online activists by the IOF for calling on citizens to gather at the mosque is a continuation of the harassment campaign being led against journalists, activists, and opinion makers," said ANHRI.

ANHRI also noted that Israeli forces were arresting Palestinians for calling to gather in Al-Aqsa while securing entry for Jewish citizens to the mosque. The organization demands the urgent release of the remaining detainees and calls on the international community, particulary organizations interested in freedom of opinion and expression and press freedom to react urgently to Israel's continued violations.

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