Israel Charges Palestinian Journalists With Incitement – For Doing Their Jobs
Israeli forces interrogated Palestinian journalists about their work, then hit them with trumped-up charges.
By Yuval Abraham
Journalist and Activist
As violence escalated in Israel-Palestine during the spring of 2021, Hazem Nasser did what he was called to do: He began filming. At the time, Nasser was working as a journalist for the Palestinian television network Falastin Al-Ghad, and his footage captured the rising tensions amid Jewish nationalist marches, Palestinian demonstrations, and Israeli police brutality in Jerusalem.
On May 10, Nasser set out to film a clash between Palestinian protesters and the Israeli army in the northern occupied West Bank. The day sticks out in Nasser’s memory — not for the clash itself, nor for the military strikes that began later that evening between Hamas and Israel, but for what happened to him afterward.
Nasser was on his way home when he was stopped by Israeli soldiers at the Huwara checkpoint and taken away for interrogations. Nasser languished in detention for more than a month while the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security service, repeatedly interrogated him.
“All the questions were about my journalism,” Nasser said. “They put images from my video reports on the table, including a funeral of a dead Palestinian, people gathering for a protest, a square honoring a shaheed [martyr], a march with Hamas flags. The interrogator told me I cannot photograph these things, because they are incitement. I told him that I am a journalist and this is my job — to show images of things that are happening, and that Israeli outlets do the same thing. He yelled at me to stop.”
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