Pro-Israel Facebook page removed following supposed coordinated attack to have it banned: The pro-Israel Facebook page "Jerusalem Prayer Team" has been kicked off Facebook "for violating [Facebook's] rules against spam and inauthentic behavior,” a spokesperson for the platform said, according to the New York Post. When the page attempted to appeal its removal from the platform, Facebook reportedly replied that the case was "complete," adding that the page was "deleted by [Facebook's] system due to being not Policy Compliant," according to Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN). "Sadly, we can’t review appeals at this time due to a shortage in reviewers caused by the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak," explained Facebook. "Since you are unable to access the Page, this means that the appealing is no longer an option. There's no further action that we can take for these Pages. Please consider this decision final."
Mike Evans, the page's founder who was leading thousands in daily online prayers for Israel, told media outlets that the page's take down was the result of a direct campaign to get it banned. "There was an organized attempt by radical Islamic organizations to achieve this objective," said Evans, according to CBN. "They posted over a million comments on our site, and then had the people contact Facebook saying that they never posted to the site. That was a complete scam and fraud. It was a very clever, deceptive plan by Islamic radicals.” Several Facebook posts and YouTube videos reportedly instructed users how to report the Jerusalem Prayer Team page to Facebook, and how to pressure the platform to delete the page, reported CBN.
The page, which was established in 2002, had nearly 77 million followers at the time of its removal. Its deletion from Facebook comes at a time when the conflict between Israel and Hamas and other Islamic groups in the Gaza Strip has ramped up tremendously, with each side launching attacks on the other in recent weeks and days. According to CBN, several Twitter posts and YouTube videos with thousands of views celebrated the page's takedown. According to CBN, one Twitter post said,
"The Jordanian hacker, Ahmed Sale, nicknamed ‘Bani Hashem Electronic Sagr’, has been able to close a Facebook page with 76 million likes to support the Zionist enity, called ‘Jerusalem Prayer Team’.#Congratulations to all viewers. ‘This Jerusalem prayer Team of Yahodi (Jewish) page has been disabled/removed successfully from facebook."
Since the Jerusalem Prayer Team has been taken down, it appears they have tried to resurface, but anti-Israeli forces took notice and are attempting to ban that page as well.