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The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media issued an analytical report outlining the volume, nature, and patterns of inflammatory and violent speech in Hebrew directed at the village of Huwara on Twitter between the beginning of the year and the end of March, which contributed to the implementation of a number of attacks by settlers on the villagers and their properties and causing harm to them, which reached its climax on the night of the twenty-seventh of February. At a time when settler attacks on Palestinian cities intensified during the first months of 2023, violence and incitement published through digital space and social media platforms, supported by Israeli ministers and officials, specifically via the Twitter platform, also increased, which had repercussions on residents and their property and led to many deaths. Sometimes it leads to material and physical damage, as well.
The New Arab
A report by digital rights group 7amleh revealed that inflammatory and insightful tweets in Hebrew contributed to Israeli violence in the Palestinian town of Hawara earlier this year. 7amleh - The Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media monitored 15,250 tweets containing the Hebrew hashtags for ‘Hawara’ and ‘Wipe Out Hawara’ during the first three months of the year. It found that more than 80 percent spoke negatively of Hawara, and added that “[the] intensity of incitement and hate speech increased on the eve of the settler attack on the village of Huwara on the night of February 27”. The most popular hashtag among Israeli users tweeting about Huwara was probably ‘Wipe Out Hawara’, and the tweets frequently included words such as “terrorism” and “saboteurs'. The hate speech spiked in late February, according to the data, and an average of 188 negative tweets were published each day till the end of March, from around 158 accounts”.
Israel is the world’s leading exporter of spyware and digital forensics tools. It has honed this expertise over decades as an occupying power acting with increasing impunity in the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and the coastal strip of Gaza. For instance, Blue Wolf is a facial recognition technology used to scan Palestinians’ faces at military checkpoints in occupied Hebron, the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank, and store the images in databases without consent. Drones armed with tear-gas canisters were first deployed in Gaza, the coastal strip where more than two million Palestinians live in what Loewenstein calls ‘the perfect laboratory for Israeli ingenuity in domination
Israeli bombardments on Gaza are becoming more frequent, thanks to innovations in artificial intelligence (AI) and a military that bends to the dictates of increasingly right-wing governments. The army boasts that intelligence units can now pinpoint targets — a process that used to take years — in just a month. Even as the death tolls across the occupied territories climb, visions of this humanitarian crisis rarely puncture the Jewish-Israeli public sphere, fortified by military censors, missile defense systems, and plain indifference. Instead, regional violence is parsed through the redemptive parlance of technological innovation.
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