Al Jazeera Reporter Detained by Israeli Security

Al Jazeera's Afghanistan bureau chief who was visiting family in Israel has been detained for 'Hamas affiliations.'

Contact Editor
Gabe Kahn.,

Al Jazeera Logo
Al Jazeera Logo
Al Jazeera Logo

Israel reportedly extended the remand of a journalist for the Arabic language Al-Jazeera satellite network who was arrested last Tuesday, accusing him of being affiliated with Hamas.

Al-Jazeera said in a release issued Monday that 47-year-old Samer Allawi, its bureau chief in Afghanistan, was taken into custody as he tried to leave Israel via the Alleny Bridge crossing to Jordan in order to return to the Afghan capital, Kabul.

Allawi reportedly testified Monday in front of a military court in Judea and Samaria near Jenin.

Allawi's brother, Masab, told Al Jazeera his brother carried a Jordanian passport, and that this was his first visit with family since he left Israel 20 years ago.

The IDF, Shin Bet internal security service and police declined to comment Tuesday.

Al-Jazeera said Allawi was in the West Bank spending his annual vacation with his family in his native village of Sebastia in Samaria.

The lawyer sent to defend him said he was questioned about his work and personal relationships, dating back to his schooldays in Judea and Samaria, the Al-Jazeera statement said.

Allawi was also interviewed about his personal finances and asked if he had any contact with American, Jordanian or PA intelligence forces, Al-Jazeera claimed.

Arabs from PA administered areas living abroad are frequently used by terrorist groups and foreign intelligence agencies to pass messages, documents, and cash to compatriots in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza -- or to gather information -- during visits to Israel.

Investigators also reportedly asked for Allawi's password, for his personal emails and work email, the statement added.