update deskIsrael at War

Israel bans ‘systematic’ viewing of terror content

The law seeks to contain the phenomenon of "lone wolf" terrorism.

Palestinians rally in Hebron in support of Hamas, Nov. 3, 2023. Photo by Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90.
Palestinians rally in Hebron in support of Hamas, Nov. 3, 2023. Photo by Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90.

Israel’s parliament on Wednesday passed a law banning for two years the “systematic and prolonged” online viewing of pro-terrorist content.

The law, which expires in 2025 but can be extended, bars Israelis from systematically viewing online content that glorifies Hamas and Islamic State. Anyone found guilty faces a prison sentence of up to one year.

According to the law’s explanatory text, it seeks to contain the phenomenon of “lone wolf” terrorism.

The law contains an exception for people who watch terrorist content “randomly, in good faith, or for a legitimate reason including providing information to the public, preventing terror attacks, or for research purposes.”

Arab-Israeli political parties Hadash and Ta’al came out against the bill, with Hadash MK Aida Touma-Suleiman claiming the measure will alienate Israel’s Arab citizens and lead to unjustified arrests.

In response, Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chairman Simcha Rothman expressed the hope that the temporary order would “lead to the issue [of incitement to terrorism] being addressed and prevent future deaths.”

He added: “We have all woken up to a different reality and we understand that incitement to terror needs to be dealt with and that what we have done so far was not enough.”

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