MIDDLE EAST : Journalist arrested by Israel just weeks after being freed by Palestinian Authority

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns Palestinian journalist and documentary filmmaker Abdulrahman Dhaher’s detention by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank just weeks after his release by the Palestinian Authority. The persecution of this journalist must stop, RSF says.

Dhaher, who works at An-Najah National University’s media centre in Nablus, in the north of the West Bank, was arrested by members of the Israel Defence Forces at his home on the night of 26 March.

His wife told RSF that ten soldiers entered their home demanding to see “the known journalist.” Before taking him way, they seized his ID and forced him reveal the password to his phone. A week before his arrest, he posted a video on social media of sidewalk interviews he had conducted on the history of Israel’s occupation of the Gaza Strip. 

Dhaher is currently held at a detention centre in the south Nablus suburb of Huwara, where he is being investigated for reasons that have not been revealed. His lawyer said he would be held for an initial period of eight days that could be extended, and that he was to be interrogated.

He was released on bail on 21 September after being held by the Palestinian Authority for 35 days on a charge of defaming the Palestinian Authority in critical videos he made in 2014 for the Jordanian TV channel Roya.

“Abdulrahman Dhaher has been imprisoned twice in the space of two months, first by the Palestinian Authority and now by the Israeli authorities,” said Sabrina Bennoui, the head of RSF’s Middle East desk. “He is currently being held without even knowing what he is accused of. The persecution of this journalist must stop.” 

Israel is ranked 88th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2020 World Press Freedom Index, while Palestine is ranked 137th.

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Updated on 29.10.2020