Israel jails Palestinian beautician over Facebook post
Majd Atwan, a resident of Bethelem in Occupied West Bank, was sentenced by an Israeli Ofer military court to 45 days in prison and fined 3000 shekels ($800) on charges of incitement on social media.
Majd had made a Facebook post praising a recent bus explosion in West Jerusalem Hebron Street on 11th April which had injured 20 people.
“The news of 20 settlers injured is nice,” wrote Majd in her Facebook comment for which she was charged with incitement.
“Your occupation to our land does not need “incitement” for our People to revolt. I am part of an occupied People…so don’t expect me to greet you with flowers instead of anger,” said Majd in response to the charges during her trial.
Her lawyer Tareq Barghouti said the Israeli military had been monitoring Atwan’s social media activity for two months prior to the arrest. He said an arrest made on the basis of social media was unheard of, but it has become a common thing these days and there has been a wave of arrests on these Facebook posts.
Her parents were aware of her social media presence but did not consider it serious enough to arrest her.
“My daughter is not politically active; rather, her involvements are in beauty,” Yousef said. “Did she write stuff online? Yeah, like all other Palestinians. I really don’t understand why they chose to arrest her.” Said Yousef Atwan
Atwan suffers from many health issues including anemia and had been summoned to court six times. She was also reportedly interrogated at the notorious Russian Compound in Jerusalem.
Atwan does not seem to be someone who would incite violence. After passing from high school she worked as make-up artist after receiving certificates in cosmetology.
“Since she was a baby, she has loved nails,” said her mother Nidal. “We are not just mother and daughter; we are like sisters, like best friends,” she said.
She spends her spare time with her mother who works at a local gym. They went to a park in the morning and took pictures of each other. Later the same night, she was arrested
Israeli authorities are now closely monitoring Palestinians’ social media profiles and looking for any provocative statements. Atwan has joined the ranks of an estimated 150 Palestinians who have been arrested over Facebook posts since October. Most of them were held for more than three months without any charges.