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Facebook sued following deadly attacks in Israel

Relatives of five people that were killed in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and the occupied West Bank between 2014 – 2016, are suing Facebook for it, and asking for $1 billion in damages, Reuters reported yesterday.

According to the report, the relatives accused Facebook of helping Hamas militants operate, thus indirectly being associated with the killing.

Filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the lawsuit says Facebook "knowingly provided material support and resources to Hamas ... facilitat(ing) this terrorist group's ability to communicate, recruit members, plan and carry out attacks, and strike fear in its enemies".

Hamas, a designated terrorist organisation by the United States, claimed responsibility for one of the attacks mentioned in the lawsuit. Israeli lawyer representing the plaintiffs, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, says it can be proven that Hamas is behind the other killings, as well.

Facebook responded in the typical Facebook matter, saying it won't comment directly to the lawsuit, but said it is standing by its abuse prevention regulations, and that it wants people to 'feel safe' when using the network.

"There is no place for content encouraging violence, direct threats, terrorism or hate speech on Facebook. We have a set of Community Standards ... and we urge people to use our reporting tools if they find content that they believe violates our standards so we can investigate and take swift action,” Facebook said.

Hamas spokesperson in Gaza, Sami Abu Zuhri, said the lawsuit is Israel’s attempt to blackmail Facebook, as it tries to turn it into a spy tool against the Palestinians.

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