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Palestinian woman sentenced by Israel to 45 days in prison over 'Facebook incitement'

May 9, 2016 6:40 P.M. (Updated: May 11, 2016 9:25 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A lawyer for the Palestinian Authority's committee for prisoners's affairs said Monday that Israel's Ofer military court has sentenced a young Palestinian woman from the southern occupied West Bank district Bethlehem to 45 days in prison over charges of incitement on her Facebook account.

Jamil Saadah told Ma'an that Majd Yusif Atwan, 22, from the town of al-Khader south of Bethlehem was detained on April 19 for alleged "incitement," and was also ordered to pay a fine of 3,000 shekels ($794) on Monday.

In recent months, Israel has detained scores of Palestinians for social media activity, alleging that a wave of unrest that swept the occupied Palestinian territory last October was encouraged largely by "incitement."

Palestinians have instead pointed chiefly to the frustration and despair brought on by Israel's nearly 50-year military occupation of the Palestinian territory and the absence of a political horizon.

More than 200 Palestinians and almost 30 Israelis have been killed since October, although the number of Palestinian and Israeli deaths saw a dramatic drop over the last two months, with Israeli leadership suggesting its severe security measures were responsible for the emerging trend.

However, the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research found in a poll last month that support for stabbing attacks had seen a decline in the West Bank in recent months -- "due, it seems, to a rising perception in its inefficacy."

Atwan joins an estimated 7,000 Palestinians currently held inside Israeli prisons, according to prisoners' right group Addameer.
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