The Israeli disinformation watchdog FakeReporter uncovered the group’s Iranian origin, saying it sought to fuel “religious war” by amplifying “fear, hatred and chaos”. (GETTY)

February 3, 2022

Twitter and Facebook have suspended pages and profiles of an Iranian disinformation unit that was targeting nationalist and ultra-religious Jews in Israel.

According to the BBC on Thursday, the alleged foreign interference campaign ran an elaborate network across multiple social media platforms posing as an ultra-Orthodox Jewish news group that supports extreme right-wing groups. The aim appears to have been sowing discord and inflame tensions with Palestinian.

The Israeli disinformation watchdog FakeReporter uncovered the group’s Iranian origin, saying it sought to fuel “religious war” by amplifying “fear, hatred and chaos”.

The network, which remains active on the messaging channel Telegram, recirculated articles and posts supporting far-right politicians, encouraged protests and promoted anti-government and anti-Arab sentiment.

Facebook says the accounts were part of attempts to reappear after it took down “a small Iranian influence operation” last March, adding that Iran-based groups are persistent and well-resourced.

The social media network called the Aduk -or strictly religious – was created as a Hebrew acronym of “Virtual religious union for the religious community”.

The network was well versed in the Israeli culture and politics and went to extensive lengths to look genuine. They had created a page for a fictitious bakery in an ultra-Orthodox Israeli town, and in another case stolen the online identity of an ultra-religious Jewish man from Russia who died four years ago.

Iran International

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Track Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.