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.