Previous reports indicated a lesser rate of so-called Facebook arrests, saying 400 were detained over the last two-year period. Meanwhile, the Arab Center for Social Media Advancement 7amleh said in January that among these, only 200 Palestinians were involved in court cases.
According to the Haaretz report published Sunday, which lauded the detention campaign as an “impressive achievement,” the Israeli army alleged they had stopped 2,200 Palestinians "at various stages of planning and preparing for attacks, mostly stabbings and car-rammings,” through detentions based intelligence gathered on the internet.
In addition, Israeli forces had “warning conversations” with some suspects or in some cases with their parents, Haaretz wrote, presumably referring to interrogations, largely conducted by breaking into Palestinian homes in the occupied territory during near-daily predawn raids.
Tel Aviv regime has also reportedly passed the names of hundreds of other Palestinians to Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces, who then detained the suspects and “warned them against planning attacks on Israel” -- as part of the policy of security coordination between the PA and Israel, which has sparked growing discontent among Palestinians in recent months.
The report said that the Shin Bet has also tightened its cooperation with intelligence services in the United States and several Western European countries to the same end.
Crackdowning Palestinian has seen bookstores shuttered, activists, journalists, novelists, and poets detained, while a wider security clampdown in the form of large-scale punitive measures in the occupied West Bank has been branded as collective punishment by rights groups and international organizations.
The crackdown on social media activity also comes as a bill introduced by Israeli Justice MInister Ayelet Shaked seeks to allow Israeli officials to force Facebook to censor certain content deemed to be “incitement” -- but only when it is made by Palestinians against Israelis, according to 7amleh.
A report recently released by 7amleh further documented that slanderous, provocative, and threatening posts made by Israelis against Arabs and Palestinians more than doubled in 2016, reaching 675,000 posts made by 60,000 Hebrew-speaking Facebook users -- without a single case being opened against an Israeli.