Israel arrests Palestinian wedding singer, says NGO

Author: AFP, ReutersWed, 2017-08-30 18:56ID: 1504118671178253700RAMALLAH: Israel has arrested a Palestinian wedding singer after he performed a song about an assailant who fatally stabbed three Jewish settlers in the occupied West Bank, a Palestinian NGO said Wednesday.
The singer was among four Palestinians arrested on Tuesday in the West Bank city of Ramallah, three of whom perform in a band together, a Palestinian Prisoners Club spokeswoman said.
Palestinian media said the band, led by singer Mohammed Al-Barghouti, had been singing about Omar Al-Abed, a Palestinian, who is alleged to have stabbed three settlers last month.
A video of the band performing the song, which praises Abed, has been posted on social media.
“I heard the sound of the machine-gun in the Arab village Kobar … It’s Omar who crossed the woods and carried out the operation,” the lyrics say, referring to Abed’s hometown.
The Israeli Army did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Abed sneaked into a Jewish settlement during a Sabbath meal and stabbed four people, killing three of them.
The July 21 attack came at a time of high tensions over the sensitive Haram Al-Sharif mosque compound in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, known to Jews as the Temple Mount.Israel not to bar Al-Jazeera journalist
Israel on Wednesday backtracked from a decision to revoke the accreditation of an Al-Jazeera journalist, saying he explained that comments he made last year did not amount to support for Palestinian violence.
Elias Karram, an Arab citizen of Israel, had told a Turkish-based TV station last year that his role as a journalist in Israeli-occupied territories where Palestinians seek statehood was inseparable from the “work of the resistance.”
In a statement, Israel’s Government Press Office (GPO) said Karram clarified at a hearing on Aug. 21 that those comments did not constitute support or sympathy for violence.
The GPO said that, in response to his explanation and after consultations with security officials, it had frozen for six months the lifting of Karram’s accreditation and would review his news reports during that period.
A spokesman for Al-Jazeera in Doha, the Qatari capital where the satellite channel is based, declined immediate comment but said a statement would be forthcoming.
Israel’s original decision, announced two weeks ago, was condemned by the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists. The CPJ wrote to the GPO that it could not find “any justification for the harassment of Karram or evidence of Al-Jazeera inciting violence.”
For many Israelis and for Palestinian militant groups that seek Israel’s destruction, the term “resistance” is synonymous with armed attacks. Palestinians who support a peace process with Israel leading to statehood say the term can refer to non-violent protests, such as hunger strikes by prisoners.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged to work to close down Al-Jazeera in Israel, accusing it of inciting violence.
Earlier this month, Israeli Communications Minister Ayoub Kara said plans were afoot to revoke the media credentials of Al-Jazeera’s journalists, close its Jerusalem bureau and remove the station’s broadcasts from local cable and satellite providers.
Such a closure does not appear imminent, however, and an Israeli official said a legal process was still required to implement most of the proposed steps.
Al-Jazeera has accused Israel of aligning itself with the four Arab states — Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and Bahrain — that have severed diplomatic and commercial ties with Qatar over alleged support for Islamist militant groups. Qatar denies backing violent militants.
Al-Jazeera has also faced government censure in Egypt. In 2014, Egypt jailed three of the network’s staffers for seven years and closed its offices. Two staffers have been released but a third remains imprisoned.
Main category: Middle-EastTags: palestinian singerPalestineIsraelNGOrelated_nodes: Palestinian leader on hunger strike sees health decline: NGOIsrael calls off discussion on permits for settler homes: NGOPalestinian MP gets six months in Israel jail without trial

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