NBC News has decided to sever ties with a Palestinian journalist, Mirvat al-Azzeh, who was recently arrested by Israeli authorities for glorifying the Hamas attacks. The 45-year-old freelance producer was taken into custody after sharing four posts on Facebook, which led to suspicions of inciting terrorism and identifying with a terrorist organization.
A police spokesperson stated in court, “These are very serious offenses during a time of declared war when the respondent lives and makes a living in the same country that is under attack and yet chooses to incite and glorify the horrible acts committed against civilians,” as reported by the New York Post.
One of the posts made by al-Azzeh on October 7 discussed an elderly woman who had been kidnapped, stating, “It’s killing me, it’s a black comedy, the old woman looks happy, a bit of action before she dies.” In another post, she mentioned, “Sirens all the time, the Jews are hiding and the Arabs are out drinking coffee on their balconies.” She also expressed a feeling of watching a movie where the director is Palestinian and the protagonists are from Gaza.
During a hearing at the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, a police representative claimed that al-Azzeh deliberately chose “to incite and glorify the horrible acts committed against civilians.” Her defense attorney confirmed that she admitted to posting the content.
An NBC News spokesperson released a statement, clarifying that the network has severed ties with al-Azzeh. They added that she had only started working for them after the October 7 attack and that the investigation against her was unrelated to her time with NBC News. The spokesperson also mentioned that al-Azzeh will not be contributing to their coverage going forward.
According to al-Azzeh’s LinkedIn page, she has been working as a freelance journalist since September 2018.
Since the Gaza war began following the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel, Israeli security forces have been conducting widespread arrests of Palestinians suspected of having connections to Hamas or inciting violence.