Why did Israeli cops book an NBC journalist?

DailyBiteNov 21, 2023 | 15:04

Why did Israeli cops book an NBC journalist?

Al-Azza was arrested by the Jerusalem district police. Photo: mohammedassar on YouTube/Unsplash/dailyO

Amidst the ongoing Israel-Hamas war, Israeli authorities arrested Marwat Al-Azza, a 45-year-old freelance journalist associated with NBC News, on charges of inciting terrorism and aligning with a terrorist organisation, on Thursday, November 16, as reported by The Jerusalem Post.

According to the JP report, the arrest followed her Facebook posts describing the October 7 surprise Hamas attack, resulting in Israeli casualties.


Arrest and allegations

  • Al-Azza, residing in East Jerusalem, was taken into custody on Thursday, November 16, after her social media posts regarding the Hamas attack on Israel surfaced.

  • The police confirmed that she cooperated during the arrest and admitted to the ownership of her statements.

  • A police representative emphasized the severity of the charges, stating, "These are very serious offenses during a time of declared war."

  • Al-Azza's Facebook posts on October 7 included remarks about a kidnapped elderly woman and observations about the conflict, mentioning "Sirens all the time, the Jews are hiding, and the Arabs are out drinking coffee on their balconies."

  • She also commented that it was like she was "watching a movie where the director is Palestinian and the protagonists are from Gaza."

  • Her posts were considered by authorities as glorifying acts against Israeli civilians during a declared war, as reported by Fox News.

  • Despite her attorney's plea for release, Al-Azza's detention was extended for four more days, as reported by the JP.


The journalist's arrest contributes to the ongoing scrutiny of media organizations hiring Palestinian journalists critical of the Israeli Government for coverage of the Israel-Hamas war.

NBC's response

  • NBC quickly distanced itself from Al-Azza, stating that her arrest was unrelated to her work with the network, as reported by Fox News.
  • An NBC spokesperson clarified, "The investigation of Azza is based on her personal Facebook posts that predate her time with us as a freelancer."
  • "We were not aware of those posts before we engaged Ms Azza four weeks ago. She will not be contributing to our coverage going forward," the spokesperson added.

According to Fox News, Al-Azza joined NBC on October 21, after the war in Gaza started. As per her LinkedIn account, she has been a freelance journalist since 2018.

Last updated: November 21, 2023 | 15:04
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