Israel arrests Arab journo after Lebanon visit

2014-04-17 14:54
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Jerusalem - An Arab Israeli journalist has been arrested after making a visit to Lebanon, his mother said on Thursday, on suspicion he could have joined a "hostile organisation".

Majd Kayyal, aged 23, from the northern coastal city of Haifa, crossed into Jordan on 23 March and travelled on to Lebanon for a conference organised by As-Safir newspaper, Israel's Shin Bet domestic security agency said.

A Shin Bet spokesperson stressed Lebanon is defined as "an enemy country" and Israelis are prohibited from visiting.

"A suspicion arose that he was recruited by a hostile organisation, and therefore upon his return on 12 April he was arrested by police and taken to us for questioning," she told AFP.

Public radio said Kayyal was suspected of contacts with the pro-Syrian Shi’ite militant group Hezbollah, an arch foe of Israel.

The spokesperson said Kayyal had arranged the paperwork to enter Lebanon through the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

Kayyal had been already questioned by security services in 2011 for having taken part in an aid flotilla to the besieged Gaza Strip, she said.

Speaking to AFP, Kayyal's mother Suhair Badarni said he worked for As-Safir, a leading pro-Syrian Beirut daily, and that the family "did not consider Lebanon an enemy country".

"They are trying to prevent us from contact with our Arab surroundings," she said. "Israeli Jewish reporters have gone to Lebanon and Syria who haven't been investigated."

Kayyal's arrest was placed under a gag order, which an Israeli court lifted on Thursday.

Arab Israeli rights group Adalah said the gag order was to prevent public debate about "the prohibition on Palestinian citizens of Israel from entering numerous Arab countries".

Adalah, which also employs Kayyal, said "the crimes for which Kayyal is accused are essentially carrying out his duty as a journalist, and his rights to freedom of movement and freedom of expression."

The Shin Bet spokesperson said the agency would decide in coming days how to proceed with the investigation and charges of "entering an enemy country".

Read more on:    lebanon  |  israel  |  middle east peace

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
10 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
 

10 most expensive cars In the world

This is car porn at its best!

 
 

Luxury living

Seven of the most expensive children's toys ever made
5 millionaires turned murderers
The youngest billionaires in the world and how they made it
Watch: Flying first class has never been this luxurious!
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a restless need for action and you may go overboard and fill your day with too many things in the need to be recognised...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.