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Israel Arrests Al-Jazeera Reporter in the West Bank


"security-related arrest"

JERUSALEM (The Blaze/AP) -- Israel has arrested a Palestinian journalist who works for the Arabic language Al-Jazeera satellite network, and a journalists' advocacy group says he is being held without charges.

Al-Jazeera said in a release issued Monday that Samer Allawi, its bureau chief in Afghanistan, was taken into custody on Aug. 10 as he tried to leave the West Bank to return to the Afghan capital, Kabul.

The Committee to Protect Journalists in New York said in a statement that Allawi has been detained without charges and called on Israel to clarify the legal basis for holding him.

The Israeli military, Shin Bet internal security service and police had no comment on the affair Tuesday. Still, the Guardian has more information on the arrest:

The Israeli authorities originally informed Allawi's family that he would be held for four days for questioning, saying that it was a "security-related arrest."

Last Thursday, the authorities told Al-Jazeera that Allawi's detention would be extended to eight days.

Allawi's lawyer has since been told that his client will appear before an Israeli military judge later today.

Al-Jazeera said Allawi was in the West Bank spending his annual vacation with his family in his native village of Sebastia.

The lawyer sent to defend him said he was questioned about his work and personal relationships, dating back to his schooldays in the West Bank, the Al-Jazeera statement said.

Allawi was also interrogated about his personal finances and asked if he had any contact with American, Jordanian and Palestinian intelligence forces, Al-Jazeera said.

Investigators also took his password for his personal email and work password, the statement added.

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