Arab social media users defend Israel, slam Hamas over human rights abuses

Arabs from countries outside of Israel and the Palestinian-run territories are defending Israel in the current wave of violence at the border with Gaza and denouncing Hamas for abusing its own people.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Arabic-language Facebook and Twitter pages are usually filled with hate messages against the Jewish state during its operations against Palestinian terrorists. Surprisingly, however, the current violence at the Israel-Gaza border is eliciting a different response from some Arabic-speaking users.

A week ago Friday, 15 Palestinians were killed and more than 750 wounded by Israeli fire as 30,000 Gazan protesters marched to the border with Israel in a violent demonstration organized by Hamas. Thousands of Palestinians threw rocks and rolled burning tires toward troops, while terrorists were trying to conduct attacks under the cover of protests.

In another round of violence this past Friday, 10,000 Palestinian rioters amassed at the border, burning thousands of tires and throwing Molotov cocktails at IDF soldiers, after which social media comments decrying Hamas’ exploitation of its citizens erupted like never before.

Speaking to Ynet News, Yonatan Gonen, head of the Arabic Language Digital Diplomacy team at Israel’s Foreign Ministry, said their posts were full of thousands of responses slamming Hamas.

“The world must know about the harm Hamas does to the residents of Gaza and be neutral, instead of keeping quiet about Hamas’ conduct and pointing the finger at Israel alone,” one person from Saudi Arabia wrote.

“There is no doubt that the Hamas terror organization is blocking any option for peace and is working to spread hatred and violence,” another opined. “Israel has internationally recognized sovereignty.”

Some posts concentrated on the long-term damage caused by the tire-burning tactic. “Gazan children need clean air, not air that has been contaminated with the burning of tires of hatred,” a Jordanian citizen wrote. It was time, he added, to throw the leaders of Hamas “into the dustbin of history.”