The operators of the internet site Facebook have recently removed a webpage dedicated to fans of Hamas' prime minister in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, the London-based Al-Hayat reported Sunday.
The webpage, called 'Commander Ismail Haniyeh', had attracted more than 10,000 Facebook users by the time it was removed from the internet.
One such user told the Arab daily that the site's operators had not provided an explanation for their action. He warned that similar action may be taken against other Hamas-affiliated Facebook webpages, including that of Hamas' politburo chief, Khaled Mashaal, which has already accumulated 17,000 'friends'.
Many Facebook users have protested the move by its editors by sending emails to the site's owners, demanding they restore Haniyeh's webpage and refrain from cutting other Hamas-linked sites in the interest of freedom of speech.
Al-Hayat's report states that "the assumption is that the site is under pressure from Israel, the US, or other groups acting with Israel's interests in mind and battling against the Palestinian people and its resistance movements, including Hamas".