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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Israel Deports U.K. Man Over Tweets

A British student was deported from Israel after being declared a “security threat” by authorities due to his use of social media.

BBC News reports that Gary Spedding of Belfast arrived at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport Thursday afternoon to meet Israeli politicians and NGOs.

He was taken to an interview room and subjected to a full body search and interrogation.

Spedding states he was told he would be deported and banned from entering Israel for 10 years due to his presence and activity on Twitter and Facebook.

Spedding’s case is thought to be the first in which comments made by an individual on social media have been labeled a risk to Israeli national security.

While in detention, Spedding used Twitter to provide live details of what was happening. His first tweet said: “Being detained at Israeli immigration. Lots of threats, they’ve went right through my phone. I’m about to be transferred to detention centre.”

In another tweet he wrote: “Just been subjected to another horrendous set of searches including very personally invasive ‘body search’ - felt all near my underwear etc.” Then added in another, “Just been informed they have booked me a flight tomorrow 5pm to deport me and I am now banned from Israel for 10 years.”

Israel’s interior ministry has no comment at this time.

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