Police Question Israeli-Arab Iranian TV Correspondent, Confiscate His Gear
Israeli police on Tuesday morning raided the office of an Israeli Arab freelance reporter, who broadcasts for several Arab states, including Iran, Syria and Iraq, Israel’s NRG News reported.
Police took in Hamed Awedat, 30, for questioning, and confiscated his recording gear and office equipment. He was later released, but the police kept his equipment and documents. Awedat, who studied for software engineering for several years in Syria, is not known to hold particularly hostile views of Israel’s policies.
Awedat is well known in his Golan Heights village of Majdal el-Shams, near Syria, and claimed he did not know why he was detained. Village officials estimated that, due to his work for Arab networks, Israeli security services wanted to investigate his email and social media accounts.
In a related development cleared for publication, in April, police arrested an editor working for an anti-Israel Haifa-based NGO, “Adalah,” at the Sheikh Hussein bridge crossing with Jordan.
Mag’d Kayal was detained on his return from attending an event in Beirut, Lebanon marking the 40th anniversary of the Lebanese newspaper Al-Safir, where he writes regularly.
Israeli officials suspected that Kayal, who holds Israeli citizenship, visited an enemy country without permission, where he met with suspected Hezbollah operatives.
Shin Bet officials said they arrested Kayal for knowingly traveling to an enemy state, which is forbidden under Israeli law.
He told interrogators that he was aware he was breaking the law, and had approached Palestinian Authority officials to help him obtain and use a visa to Lebanon via a third country.