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Arab-Israeli Receives 5-month Prison Sentence For Poems Deemed Incitement

An Israeli court sentenced an Arab citizen to five months in prison, after she was convicted of incitement to violence over social media posts written during the 2015-16 co-called “Stabbing Intifada.” Dareen Tatour, a resident of the northern Israeli village of Reineh, located near Nazareth, was originally arrested in October 2015—during a wave of hundreds of Palestinian terrorist attacks in Israel and the West Bank—and released to house arrest three months later. She was convicted this past May, with the court finding her guilty of supporting terrorism in her poem “Resist My People, Resist.” According to media reports, the poem included lines such as, “Never lower my flags, Until I evict them from my land,” and “Resist the settler’s robbery, And follow the caravan of martyrs.” Three Facebook posts also were cited in Tatour’s indictment, one of which quoted Gaza Strip-based Islamic Jihad’s call for Palestinians to rise up to protect Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. In another, Tatour declared, “I am the next martyr.” After her sentencing, Tatour, 36, described her legal proceedings as “political to begin with” and claimed she was being imprisoned “because I’m a Palestinian.” The case drew international attention when more than 150 literary figures called for Tatour’s release, and continues to generate debate in Israel over the boundaries of freedom of expression.