Palestinians use social media to out the Israeli undercover agents haunting their protests

Israeli security forces and undercover police arrest a young Bedouin demonstrator during a protest in January. (credit: Menahem Kahana / AFP / Getty Images)
Demonstrators are increasingly effective at countering undercover agents.

By Hiba Yazbek | The Guardian | Apr 6, 2022

The shift in the power dynamic might mean that these agents are not as powerful as they once were.

Last May, as war in Gaza raged and clashes over Palestinian access to Jerusalem intensified, large protests swept across almost every Arab and mixed city in Israel. In Haifa, the Israeli coastal city with a mixed Arab and Jewish population, Yousef Ibrahim attended almost every demonstration.

Over the years, the activist and organizer from Daburiyya, an Arab village in the north of Israel, has had his fair share of confrontations with Israeli undercover agents who pose as Arab citizens, known as Mista’arvim. But this time was different, he said.

Previously, the agents had been a ghostly presence, more sensed than seen, but this time, activists like Ibrahim, along with legal organizations, sent out warnings on WhatsApp and Telegram groups to raise awareness about the presence of these agents – and instructions on how to avoid being arrested by them.

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