2 Arabs charged with defying IDF censor

E. J'lem Iranian TV employees accused of reporting IDF's ground entry into Gaza hours before permitted.

journalists media 248.88.ap (photo credit: AP)
journalists media 248.88.ap
(photo credit: AP)
Two Arab journalists were charged Tuesday with passing secret information to the enemy when they allegedly broke censorship by reporting on IDF troop movements in real time. The alleged incident occurred during a broadcast on Iran's Al-Alam Arabic-language satellite TV channel on January 3, the day IDF ground forces entered the Gaza Strip. The two east Jerusalem residents, Hadir Shaheen 34, and producer Mohammed Sarhan, 26, work for the Ramallah-based PMCC production company, which provides media services for Al-Alam. The two were reporting from the Israeli side of the Gaza border when they noticed IDF forces preparing for the ground incursion, the indictment states. The two began a live broadcast detailing the troops' movements, even though they knew that the information had not yet been cleared by the military censor and that it could harm the operation, the charge sheet says. The detailed reports were then broadcast in Iran as well as on Arabic satellite stations, including ones available in the Gaza Strip, which put the lives of IDF soldiers at risk, police said. The suspects, who were arrested last week, deny the charges, claiming they were broadcasting content that was available on other media outlets at the time. During a custody hearing held on January 6, the Petah Tikva Magistrate's Court agreed to the state's request that the two be held until the end of legal proceedings. The presiding judge said he feared the suspects would flee to the Palestinian-controlled areas if released. Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.