Israel arrests Al Jazeera's Afghanistan bureau chief

Palestinian Samer Allawi detained after visiting family in W. Bank on suspicion of links to Hamas.

By OREN KESSLER
August 16, 2011 17:36
2 minute read.
Samer Allawi, Al Jazeera journalist

Samer Allawi, Al Jazeera journalist_311. (photo credit: Facebook Page)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Israel has arrested Al Jazeera’s Afghanistan bureau chief, a Palestinian, on charges of ties to Hamas.

Samer Allawi, 46, was picked up August 10 on the border between the West Bank and Jordan, the Arabic-language satellite station said Tuesday.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


RELATED:
Israel rocket victims fail in bid to sue Al Jazeera
Award-winning Palestinian journalist forced into hiding

Allawi was detained August 10 after a three-week visit with family in Sebastia, a village adjacent to Nablus. He had been remanded by an Israeli military court a week after being taken into custody while trying to cross from the West Bank into Jordan in order to return to Afghanistan.

An Israeli security official confirmed Allawi’s arrest and court appearance but gave no further details on the case.

Walied Al-Omary, Al Jazeera’s bureau chief in Israel and the Palestinian territories, said the military court accused Allawi of making contact with members of Hamas’s armed wing.

Al Jazeera Arabic’s website posted footage of Allawi appearing in court in an Israel Prison Services uniform.



“There is nothing in this investigation that I believe harms Israel, like it is being claimed, or has any relationship with my work in this entire region,” he told the judge.

Al Jazeera’s relationship with Israeli authorities in recent years has been fraught.

In 2008 Deputy Foreign Minister Majalli Wahabi said Jerusalem would deny visas to Al Jazeera employees, and prohibit officials from speaking to the network, due to what he described as its biased coverage in favor of Hamas.

The following year Israel imposed sanctions on Al Jazeera after its home base of Qatar closed the Israeli trade office in the country to protest the Gaza offensive.

Since then, Al Jazeera employees’ access has been restricted to spokespeople from the Prime Minister’s Office, Foreign Ministry and IDF Spokesman’s Unit.

An article posted Tuesday on the Al Jazeera Arabic website referred nine times to Israeli “occupation authorities,” and the network’s English website said Allawi was being held in a ”prison camp at Petah Tikva detention center.”

Related Content

August 15, 2018
Iran Supreme Leader admits mistake regarding nuclear talks

By REUTERS