Arab Jerusalem resident indicted for using social media to incite terrorism

Mahmoud Asila, 32, used Facebook to encourage and praise terrorists

December 2, 2014 21:04
1 minute read.

Screenshot of Mahmoud Asila's Facebook page, with writing in Arab calling to "Run over people for the sake of Jerusalem". (photo credit: screenshot)

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, in coordination with the Attorney General’s Office, indicted an Arab man from east Jerusalem on Tuesday for using his Facebook account to encourage and praise terrorists in the past months.

Mahmoud Asila, 32, from the Muslim Quarter of the Old City, was arrested on November 18 for posting photos and videos calling on Arabs to run over security forces and attempting to spur car attacks against Israelis.

An investigation by Jerusalem police revealed that after the November 5 car attack during which Ibrahim al-Akri of Shuafat drove into bystanders and killed a Border Police officer and wounded 13 people, Asila posted images and videos on his Facebook page praising the terrorist and condemning the security forces who shot and killed him.

Asila also posted photos of himself holding pistols, knives and an assault rifle, police said. In one screen shot taken from his Facebook page, his background photo shows a picture of a car driving into Israeli soldiers, with the words “run them over for the sake of Jerusalem” in Arabic.

Another screen shot showed a picture of Egged bus driver Yussuf al-Ramuni, 32, who a coroner concluded committed suicide last month by hanging himself in a bus, although the Arab media vehemently charged he was murdered by Jewish settlers.

In the image, Asila wrote: “May you have the blessing of paradise/ the sons of dogs have hanged you.”

The investigation revealed that Asila made threats against Muhammad Zoabi, the 16-year-old cousin of Balad MK Haneen Zoabi living in Nazareth, who published videos in June in Arabic, Hebrew and English supporting Israel and calling for the return of the three kidnapped yeshiva students.

Asila took responsibility for the Facebook posts, but claimed they are a part of his “freedom of speech,” police said.

According to the investigation, Asila’s postings garnered thousands of “likes” from supporters.

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