Israel's large Palestinian minority is facing an unprecedented backlash of incitement and violent reprisals as Israeli Jews rally behind the current military operations in Gaza, human rights groups and political activists have warned. They say recent statements from public figures urging war crimes and genocidal actions in Gaza have helped to stoke an especially dangerous atmosphere for Israel's 1.6 million Palestinian citizens, who comprise a fifth of the population. Palestinian citizens have been accused of being "traitors" and a "fifth column" for criticising Israeli operations in Gaza, in a surge of ethnic hatred by the Jewish majority not seen since the outbreak of the second intifada 14 years ago.
"There has been an explosion of incitement against the Palestinian minority on Facebook and other social media in the past few weeks," said Basel Ghattas, a Palestinian member of the Israeli parliament. "Pages calling for violence get tens of thousands of likes overnight."