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A new report on Palestinian digital rights was launched by APC member 7amleh-The Arab Center for Social Media Advancement, which received an APC project grant in 2018. The report details violations by governments, authorities, international technology companies and Palestinian society.
In 2018, the Israeli government continued to systematically target Palestinians and the right to freedom of expression via the internet, the report found. Israeli authorities arrested around 350 Palestinians in the West Bank on charges of “incitement” because of their publications on social media. The Israeli government also submitted a set of bills that would violate the right to privacy on the internet, including the expansion of the Israeli Cyber Directorate. Additionally, the Israeli court has received greater power to remove content from social media platforms.
The report also explains the amendment of the Electronic Crimes Law by the Palestinian Authority in April 2018. This law still grants various official bodies the authority to monitor content on the internet, block sites and arrest Palestinians in the West Bank. Furthermore, Hamas in the Gaza Strip continued to arrest Palestinians opposed to its policies based on the unclear charge of “misuse of technology”.