Facebook apologizes for shutting down page of Palestinian Fatah movement

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Facebook shut down the page of Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s party Fatah, apparently over a picture of late leader Yasser Arafat with a weapon, the movement said on Monday.

“We received a message that our page violated Facebook’s regulations,” Munir al-Jaghub, a media officer with Fatah and one of the page’s administrators, told AFP.

The accounts of the 12 administrators of the page, which according to Jaghub had 70,000 followers, were also suspended for 30 days.

A photo of Arafat holding a rifle that belonged to an Israeli soldier abducted in the 1980s by Palestinians in Beirut that had featured on the page was attached to the message from Facebook.

Standing next to Arafat is Mahmoud al-Alul, recently elected Fatah deputy chairman.

But the page was reinstated by Tuesday morning, with a Facebook spokesperson confirming that the page was removed in error.

“The page was removed in error and restored as soon as we were able to investigate. We apologize for this mistake. All pages have to abide by our community standards,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement made available to Al Arabiya English.

The page’s administrators responded through a post on Tuesday night saying: “Please note that we, the page administrators of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement Fatah have returned to you after Facebook withheld us from our work”.

The page has nearly 70,000 fans so far.

“Long live Fatah, long live our glorious revolution which will remain victory,” the post added.

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