Israel releases Palestinian journalist from house arrest, imposes community service

Middle East Monitor  /  July 12, 2023

The Israeli District Court yesterday ordered Palestinian journalist, Lama Ghosheh, to perform nine months of community service following the 10-month house arrest and social media ban that ended today.

According to the WAFA news agency, a three-year suspended sentence was also imposed on her yesterday by the court, which means she could be jailed for up to six months “in case of any violation committed” over a three-year period.

Ghosheh, 30, is a mother of two and works as a freelance journalist. She was detained by occupation forces from her family home in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in 2021 and has had her detention extended several times.

In addition to the community service and three-year suspension, the court also fined her 4,500 shekels ($1,220), said her lawyer, Nasser Odeh, vowing to appeal the verdict.

In a statement, the journalists’ union condemned the verdict which it says, “aggravates the violations committed by the occupation authorities against journalists in the framework of their professional work and their freedom of opinion and expression.”

Palestinian journalists face growing threats, intimidation and violence as their freedoms are curtailed by the Israeli occupation.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society evacuated five journalists who were trapped by Israeli occupation forces inside a house in the Jenin Refugee Camp in the northern West Bank while covering the military attack that Israel launched earlier this month, Anadolu Agency reported.

The Beirut-based Journalist Support Committee slammed the targeting of press crews adding that this is part of Israel’s effort to hide its crimes from the international community and silence the Palestinian narrative.