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Israel’s public security minister blames Facebook after recent West Bank attacks

“The victims’ blood is partially on Facebook’s hands.”

Israel Conducts Home Front Exercise Photo by Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images

In the wake of deadly attacks in Palestine, a top Israeli government official is pinning blame on Facebook, using severe language that underscores the company’s precarious position in political hotbeds across the globe.

The social network is at fault for failing to remove posts from Palestinians that spark such attacks, Gilad Erdan, Israel’s minister of Public Security, told Israeli TV station Channel 2 on Saturday.

“The victims’ blood is partially on Facebook’s hands,” he said, via Bloomberg. “Facebook has turned into a monster. The younger generation in the Palestinian Authority runs its entire discourse of incitement and lies and finally goes out to commit murderous acts on Facebook’s platform.” (The interview is in Hebrew, but Recode has confirmed the quote’s accuracy.)

Facebook is often criticized for the ways it polices speech, which often puts it in conflict with national governments.

The current Israeli government, for example, frequently faces criticism for attempts to curb speech, online and offline, particularly in the Palestinian territories. Israeli officials have recently claimed that social media has fanned the flames of a spate of “lone wolf” attacks that began last fall. The latest one, which spurred Erdan’s comments, involved the fatal stabbing of a 13-year-old Israeli in the West Bank region.

Facebook did not immediately reply to a request for comment. But in a statement to Bloomberg, a Facebook rep said the company works “regularly with safety organizations and policy makers around the world, including Israel, to ensure that people know how to make ... safe use of Facebook. There is no room for content that promotes violence, direct threats, terrorist or hate speeches on our platform.”

Additional reporting by Noah Kulwin.

This article originally appeared on

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