Pressure from Israeli authorities compelled Twitter to remove 20 accounts belonging to top Hamas and Hizballah leaders in the first half of 2018, the Middle East Monitor reports. These include accounts belonging to Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh, Fawzi Barhoom and Rawhi Barhoum.
The move came after the Israeli Ministry of Justice’s Cybercrime Department issued a June 26 letter demanding that Twitter “permanently close” the accounts.
“Article 24 to the Israeli Counterterror Law (2016) states that any act of solidarity with a terror organization including any publication of its actions is an offense punishable by three or five years imprisonment,” the letter said.
It identified Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hizballah as organizations Israel considers covered by the anti-terrorism law. The United States also has designated the organizations as terrorist groups.
Twitter says it takes local laws into consideration: “If we receive a valid and properly scoped request from an authorized entity, it may be necessary to withhold access to certain content in a particular country from time to time.”