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Israeli Occupation Forces rounded up and detained around 7,000 Palestinians in 2022, contributing to last year being the deadliest since 2005 for those living under Occupation. Israeli authorities have also been increasing their crackdown on Palestinians expressing opinions online and on social media, particularly on Facebook, with 410 Palestinians having been detained based on their online activity due to “incitement against the Occupation”.
The South End
Wayne State administration officials stifled student leaders’ support for Palestinian rights in 2021, according to emails The South End uncovered through a series of Freedom of Information Act requests throughout the spring and fall. WSU limited Student Senate’s access to communicate with students through the university email listserv after blocking the group’s effort to send a statement through the listserv in support of Palestinians living under Israeli occupation in 2021. Senate previously used the listserv for political and social matters with pre-publication approval by the Dean of Students Office.
Facebook’s own policies about how it regulates various forms of speech and expression do not go far enough in terms of ensuring that it will not unnecessarily restrict or even censor pro-Palestinian content. If anything it continues to show that it is actually averse to this content, often exposing the inhumanity and cruelty that Israel inflicts against Palestine but normally left outside mainstream news media. Especially at a time where Western and other governments routinely fail to discuss or oppose this, voices that do the opposite are crucial. As pro-Palestinian journalists, activists or artists they are helping educate the public. Likewise, they should be commended, not punished.
Amidst the technological revolution heralded by the fifth generation of communications, the Gaza Strip is still immersed in digital darkness, using the second generation that has become obsolete in the outside world. Israel prevents the entry of equipment needed to build third generation networks in Gaza, as the two cellular telecommunications companies operating in the Gaza Strip are still providing second generation services to provide their subscribers with internet. The two companies allow Palestinians to purchase internet packages and bundles at limited speeds and high prices, to use their smartphones in public places without fixed internet. Palestinians complain about the ineffectiveness of these packages in carrying out various tasks remotely, as they are limited to sending and receiving short messages and using some social media applications.
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