Israeli Forces Arrest 51 Palestinians for Throwing Rocks

Cheryl Sanders
October 23, 2017

The Israel Police mistakenly arrested a Palestinian worker last week because they relied on automatic translation software to translate a post he wrote on his Facebook page. What happened next was unexpected, to say the least.

Israeli police became suspicious of the post since he was standing next to a bulldozer, a vehicle that has been used in earlier terror attacks, the website reported.

"No Arabic-speaking officer read the post prior to the arrest, which was carried out by officers who relied exclusively on Facebook's automatic translation", Haaretz newspaper was cited as saying.


Following it, the local police was notified about the post and the person was arrested in response.

Haaretz reported that the Facebook post has since been deleted by Halawim Halawi.

Reports also pointed out that there is only one difference in lettering between the colloquial Arabic phrase for "good morning to you all" and "hurt them".


Facebook "good day" in Arabic, after the software of the social network had accidentally translated its publication by " tackle", said on Sunday the police and the media.

Further, officers wholly dependent on Facebook's automatic translation and did not consult an Arabic-speaking officer before making the arrest. They suspected he was threatening to carry out such an attack and the police arrested him.

The vagaries of the online translators.


Google said at the time that Translate worked by looking for patterns in hundreds of millions of documents - but translation remained hard as the meaning of words was tied to the context in which they were used.

Other reports by iNewsToday

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