Above Photo: Israeli Jewish extremists wave Israeli flags amid a night-time curfew in the central city of Lydd. Oren Ziv Picture-Alliance/DPA.
Israeli Jewish extremists used instant messaging services to organize armed militias to attack Palestinian citizens of Israel.
Voice messages, texts and other communications indicate they coordinated attacks in cities where Palestinians live in close proximity to Jews – including Haifa, Bat Yam and Tiberias in the north, and Ramla and Lydd – Lod in Hebrew – in the center, to Beersheba in southern Israel.
Settlers from Jewish-only colonies in the occupied West Bank also joined the coordinated attacks, with the apparent knowledge and collusion of Israeli officials.
They communicated via WhatsApp and Telegram, as well as Facebook groups.
In many cases, extremist organizers said they relied on either the active or passive support of Israeli authorities.
Israeli research organizations Fake Reporter and HaBloc intercepted messages from some of those groups and reported what they found to Israeli police as a “ticking time-bomb.”
“It’s painful to know that despite our attempts, very little was actually done,” Fake Reporter said.
“No one in the authorities could claim that they did not know,” HaBloc said.
“We are Nazis”
In screenshots from the groups posted by Fake Reporter, members talked about types of weapons and made plans for where to meet up in order to attack Palestinians and burn mosques. They engaged in virulent racism and incitement against Palestinians.
The messages were released in the context of recent attacks by extremist Jewish Israelis on Palestinians, their homes and businesses as Israel escalated its attacks on the occupied West Bank and Gaza over the last week.
“We are no longer Jews today,” one user wrote in a Telegram group titled “People from Holon, Bat Yam and Rishon Lezion go out to bring war.”
“Today we are Nazis.”
These towns are suburbs south of Tel Aviv.
Videos posted by HaBloc and apparently filmed on 12 and 13 May show people in or heading to Bat Yam, some chanting “Death to the Arabs.”