Netanyahu’s Facebook page suspended over hate speech

Zamira Rahim

Facebook has sanctioned Benjamin Netanyahu’s official page, after a post called on voters to oppose a government composed of “Arabs who want to destroy us all – women, children and men.”

The social media company said the post violated its hate speech policy.

Facebook consequently disabled the page’s automatic chat function for 24 hours.

The Israeli prime minister has denied writing the post.

In an interview with Kan Reshet Bet radio, Mr Netanyahu suggested that a staffer’s mistake was responsible.

Benjamin Netanyahu is fighting for his political survival: REUTERS

The right-wing president is campaigning to retain his office in an election next week.

The 69-year-old has attempted to ensure nationalist support by using hardline rhetoric.

On Tuesday Mr Netanyahu pledged to annex the Jordan Valley, which is part of the occupied West Bank.

Annexation would be illegal under international law but Mr Netanyahu asked the voters to provide him with a “mandate” for annexation in the election.

Mr Netanyahu’s right wing Likud party faces tough competition from the centre-right Blue and White Party.

The Israeli prime minister emerged victorious in a 9 April election but failed to win enough seats in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, to build a government.

He dissolved the legislature for a second time in six months, triggering another election which will be held on 17 September.

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Additional reporting by agencies