Arab Israeli actress freed to house arrest amid alleged Hamas support

Nazareth judge overturns lower court’s decision to hold Maisa Abd Elhadi in custody over a social media post celebrating kidnapping of elderly woman

Maisa Abd Elhadi in "Tel Aviv on Fire." (Courtesy Cohen Media Group)
Maisa Abd Elhadi in "Tel Aviv on Fire." (Courtesy Cohen Media Group)

Prominent Arab Israeli actor Maisa Abd Elhadi was released to house arrest on Wednesday, a day after she was detained by police for allegedly expressing support for Hamas and its devastating massacre in Israel on October 7.

Abd Elhadi will remain under house arrest until Sunday, October 29, and has been forbidden from using social media until that date. Meanwhile, the investigation of her will continue.

The decision to release her from detention was made by the Nazareth District Court after she filed an appeal against a ruling of the Tiberias Magistrate’s Court to remand her in custody until October 26.

In allowing Abd Elhadi’s to be released to house arrest, Nazareth Judge Arafat Taha cited his belief that while her social media posts were harsh, and could cause anger and distress, it was doubtful that she did anything illegal by posting them.

The actress, best known for her role in the 2013 film “World War Z,” as well as several Israeli shows, was detained after sharing images on Instagram of Yaffa Adar, 85, being taken hostage by Hamas, along with laughing emojis.

Adar was one of the 224 captives seized by terrorists on October 7 during their murderous rampage through southern Israel, during which they killed some 1,400 people, most of them civilians.

In a second post, Abd Elhadi shared an image of Hamas forces breaching Israel’s security border, with a caption reading “Let’s go, Berlin style,” in an apparent reference to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.


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A post shared by Ofer Shechter (@ofershechter)

Abd Elhadi’s posts on social media were strongly criticized by her Israeli co-star on “Temporarily Dead” Ofer Shechter, who wrote, “I’m ashamed of you. You should be ashamed of yourself. You live in Nazareth, act and star in our TV shows and films, and then stab us in the back.”

The hardline National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, who has made repeated unsupported forecasts of Arab Israeli riots amid the Gaza war, slammed the decision to release Abd Elhadi to house arrest, saying that it “gives support to terrorism and will lead to increased incitement and further expressions of support for the terrible massacre.”

Since October 7, the Israel Police has vowed to crack down on people inside Israel who express support for Hamas. In a video posted last Tuesday to the Police’s Arabic TikTok channel, Commissioner Kobi Shabtai said: “Anyone who wants to identify with Gaza is welcome — I’ll put them on buses that will send them there, I’ll help them get there.”

Gianluca Pacchiani contributed to this report.

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