It appears social media is fanning the flames of Palestinian violence against Israeli citizens that has escalated over the last month, sending messages praising the perpetrators by calling them "heroes," encouraging others to carry out similar attacks and warning of more attacks in coming days.
Popular Arabic hashtags such as "The Intifada has started," "The third Intifada," The Jerusalem Intifada," "The Knife Intifada," "Poison the Knife before You Stab," and "Slaughtering the Jews" are trending on social media platforms, according to a report by the Middle East Media and Research Institute.
"In previous conflicts between these groups, there was only the media—a handful of newspapers, TV stations and websites—and it was controlled," said Steven Stalinsky, executive director of MEMRI.
"With social media there is no control and it reaches a larger audience, particularly among the youth. In the West Bank and Gaza they are all connected through their cell phones, so they're seeing these posts," Stalinsky said.