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17 Aug, 2018 20:56

‘Inciting violence’: Israel arrests Palestinian journalist for live-streaming IDF soldiers

A Palestinian journalist has been arrested by Israeli authorities for filming soldiers operating in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Facebook Live. They claim he was inciting violence against Israel and the army.

Ali Dar Ali live-streamed two videos on Facebook on Tuesday morning, which showed Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers operating in the Al-Amari refugee camp. They were drawing up a plan of a Palestinian home, a procedure typically done before demolishing a building, according to Gaza-based journalist Hind Khoudary.

Israeli forces raided Ali's home and arrested him the following day. The journalist's mother, Umm Ali Dar Ali, told RT that the family was sleeping when they heard a knock on the door in the middle of the night.

"We woke up and opened the door. They told us they are soldiers...they went upstairs and arrested him. He told me 'Mom, don't be afraid. I hope I won't stay there for long,'" she said. Ali's mother also said that when she and other members of the family went to the court, they were told her son's detention was being extended.

The Palestine Broadcasting Corporation, which Ali works for, has called for his immediate release, accusing Israel of targeting the Palestinian media.

"These measures are intended to silence the Palestinian voice and dim the picture so that Israel can commit its crimes without any noise," the agency said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the IDF has defended the arrest of Ali. "The man filmed and edited videos of IDF troops during the course of their operational activities, while encouraging violence towards them, and incited attacks directed at the state of Israel and IDF troops," it said.

Filming IDF soldiers is illegal in Israel, while filming them with the intent of "undermining the spirit of the army" is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Ali is at least the eighth Palestinian journalist to be arrested by Israel since July 30, according to numbers cited by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), which said in a statement that "Israel has been relentless in its assault on the Palestinian press" and called on all detained journalists to be released.

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