Diplomacy & defense

Group says removal of channel is 'a blow to war on terror' as Israel is fighting a wave of attacks

YouTube has reinstated the channel of an Israeli media watchdog that reports on Palestinian incitement after hours after it was removed by the video-sharing site which said it had violated the site’s terms of service.

Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) monitors and exposes incitement in Palestinian media and had last posted on its channel a video in which a young Palestinian girl is seen reading a poem on official Palestinian Authority television calling for a "war that will smash the oppressor and destroy the Zionist soul."

According to PMW, YouTube then proceeded to remove the group's channel which contained "nearly all" of the group’s published videos, the group said in a statement Sunday.

"It is outrageous that YouTube closed PMW’s account, which is a blow to the war on terror," the group added. "This is particularly dangerous now while Israel is fighting a war against Palestinian terror. PMW documentation on PMW’s YouTube account shows the PA and Fatah leaders’ support and promotion of the terror."

Palestinian Media Watch

Itamar Marcus, PMW’s founder and director, said YouTube has removed their videos in the past on the grounds that it constituted hateful content.

"In the past, they’ve given us warnings about particular videos because they misinterpret them to be hate speech. Then they would take those videos down, and we would have to explain to them that, in fact, they are designed to expose hate speech. And then they would always repost them," he was quoted by Tazpit Press Service as saying.

According to Marcus, "there was no warning at all. They didn’t give any more information than about the violation of terms. We know what the violation was because they have done this before, but they don’t get that it is Palestinian incitement that we are exposing rather than promoting."

"This is particularly dangerous now while Israel is fighting a war against Palestinian terror," the statement by the group said.

Palestinian Media Watch

The wave of violence in Israel and the Palestinian territories since October has killed 181 Palestinians as well as 30 Israelis, an American, a Sudanese and an Eritrean.

The group said that YouTube's removal of their channel "is a blow to the war on terror" as the group's YouTube's channel "shows the PA and Fatah leaders' support and promotion of terror" and that PMW has been "recognized and used by parliaments and governments around the world. On Friday, a 25-minute debate took place in Swedish Parliament in which the PA's support for the current terror was discussed, and the proof was based entirely on PMW documentation."

The group's YouTube account was shut down in 2010 for similar reasons but reinstated following dozens of complaints.

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