Months-long house arrest extended for Palestinian journalist accused of incitement
Lama Ghosheh, who was detained in September, says Facebook posts flagged by prosecutors reflect ‘the narrative of the Palestinian street and weren’t invented from my imagination’
An Israeli court on Tuesday extended the months-long house arrest of a Palestinian journalist from East Jerusalem, who stands accused of incitement over her Facebook posts, her lawyer said.
Lama Ghosheh, a freelance reporter for various Palestinian media outlets, was detained in September and placed under house arrest after 10 days in jail.
The 30-year-old has been accused of incitement to violence and identification with a terrorist group according to the indictment, which cites Facebook posts and messages as evidence.
The charge sheet describes her work as a journalist and her thousands of online followers as giving her posts greater weight.
At the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court, her lawyer Mohammed Mahmoud said officials postponed the verdict until April 18, during which time she will remain under house arrest.
Mahmoud added that the court was considering a penalty of community service rather than a prison term, if his client is convicted.
Ghosheh told AFP her Facebook posts reflected “the narrative of the Palestinian street and weren’t invented from my imagination.”
She arrived at the court alongside her children, aged 3 and 5.
“I brought my two children with me because I want them to face the fear that has been in their minds since the moment I was arrested,” she told AFP.
“House arrest has transformed my home from a safe place and space into a space of authority and control,” she added.
Israel, which captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War and later annexed it, bans political activities related to the Palestinian Authority, which views the eastern part of the city as the capital of its future state.
Yesterday, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir ordered the closure of an East Jerusalem office of Voice of Palestine, a PA-backed broadcaster based in Ramallah. He accused it of “incitement and supporting terror” and said it was not licensed to operate from Jerusalem.
The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists called on Israeli authorities to “immediately reverse their order” to shut the office and “cease harassing members of the press.”