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Israeli security forces arrest Palestinian journalist in West Bank
Israeli security forces should immediately release Palestinian journalist Abdul Rahman Awad, a correspondent in Ramallah for the Hamas-affiliated Palestinian news agency Safa, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.
Israeli forces yesterday morning arrested Awad at his home in the village of Budrus, 19 miles (31 kilometers) northwest of Ramallah, according his employer and news reports.
Awad’s wife, Sana Abdel Hafez, told CPJ that Israeli security forces broke the main door of their house and entered at 2 a.m. yesterday. According to Abdel Hafez, they told Awad to identify himself, and asked the journalist questions about his work. Awad wrote feature stories, and covered social and humanitarian issues relating to Palestinians living in the West Bank.
The security forces then took Awad to change clothes, arrested him, and transferred the journalist to an unknown location, according to his wife.
Abdel Hafez said her husband was not charged during the arrest, and she has not heard from him since security forces took him away.
“Israeli security forces should stop arresting Palestinian journalists without charge,” said CPJ Middle East and North Africa Program coordinator Sherif Mansour. “We call on Israeli authorities to immediately release Abdul Rahman Awad.”
The Israel Defense Forces did not immediately respond to CPJ’s request for comment.
Awad’s arrest follows an August 31 raid Israeli troops carried out on the Hebron office of the Fatah-affiliated al-Hurriya Media Network. In the same incident, the troops shuttered the Manbar al-Hurriya radio station for six months on the grounds that the broadcaster incited terrorist attacks.
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.
The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website www.SuburbanChicagoland.com, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.
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