Israeli court sentences Palestinian reporter to community service: lawyer

AFP , Wednesday 12 Jul 2023

An Israeli court on Tuesday ordered a Palestinian journalist from occupied east Jerusalem to perform community service, and handed down a suspended sentence, her lawyer said, after she was charged with incitement to violence.

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Palestinian journalist Lama Ghosheh, from east Jerusalem s Sheikh Jarrah district, poses for a picture on March 21, 2023 at the Israeli magistrate court in Jerusalem. AFP

 

The Palestinian journalists' union condemned the verdict as "unjust".

Lama Ghosheh, 30, a freelance reporter for various Palestinian media outlets, was detained in September and placed under house arrest.

In addition to incitement, she was accused of "identification with a terrorist group", according to the indictment which cited Facebook posts and messages as evidence.

The charge sheet described her work as a journalist and her thousands of online followers as giving her posts greater weight.

Ghosheh's lawyer, Mohammed Mahmoud, said she was ordered to perform nine months of community service.

The suspended sentence means she could be jailed for six months "in case of any violation committed" over a three-year period.

The court also fined her 4,500 shekels ($1,220), said Mahmoud, vowing to appeal the verdict.

The journalists' union said the verdict "aggravates the violations committed by the occupation authorities against journalists in the framework of their professional work and their freedom of opinion and expression".

Israel has occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem since the 1967 Six-Day War.

In east Jerusalem, Israel bans political activities related to the Palestinian Authority, which has partial administrative control in the West Bank and views the eastern part of the city as the capital of their future state.

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