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Tweet withheld: Israel, Twitter 'collaborate on censoring overseas posts'

Israel blocks its residents from viewing online material published on Twitter by users overseas [Getty]

Date of publication: 10 August, 2016

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At the request of Israel, Twitter has blocked Israelis from viewing certain online materials published abroad in the latest move by the Zionist state to tackle anti-Israeli sentiment.
In the latest step of collaboration between social media sites and Israel, the Zionist state has blocked its residents from viewing online material published in other countries, including the US, +972 Magazine reported on Tuesday.

In recent months, Israel's State Attorney's Office Cyber Division has sent out a number of take-down orders to Twitter and other social media sites, demanding the removal of certain posts or blocking users in Israel from viewing them, the magazine which has both Palestinian-based and Israeli-based writers said.

"In an email viewed by +972, dated August 2, 2016, Twitter's legal department notified American blogger Richard Silverstein that the Israeli State Attorney claimed a tweet of his violates Israeli law," the online magazine said.

"Silverstein has in the past broken stories that Israeli journalists have been unable to report due to gag orders, including the Anat Kamm case," the magazine added.

Twitter had requested from the American blogger to take down his post and upon refusing to do so, noting that he was not bound by Israeli law, Silverstein was informed that his posts have been blocked in Israel.

"In accordance with applicable law and our policies, Twitter is now withholding the following Tweet [s] in Israel," +972 Magazine quoted California-based Twitter as saying.

The move comes as part of Israeli authorities' latest crackdown on non-violent activists both inside Israel and overseas, most notably the BDS movement.

In June, authorities collaborated with Internet giant Facebook in a bid to tackle anti-occupation and BDS activists who resort to non-violent tactics such as boycotting.

Facebook named Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's long-time senior adviser Jordana Cutler as head of policy and communication in its offices in Israel.

Facebook has since taken down a series of pro-Palestinian campaigns posts and blocked a number of user accounts from its site.

Internet censorship is most prominent in countries associated with the suppression of political dissent, which have come under immense criticism from rights groups.

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