Safety of Journalists > AFP news > Israel decides against revoking Jazeera journalist's credentials

Israel decides against revoking Jazeera journalist's credentials

© 2017 AFP

30 August 2017

Israeli authorities said Wednesday they had decided not to revoke the credentials of a journalist for Al-Jazeera over comments that his work was part of the Palestinian "resistance."

Elias Karram's reports will instead be monitored for six months with the possibility of revoking his credentials later, Israel's government press office said.

Israeli authorities had earlier moved to revoke Karram's press credentials after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last month that he wanted to expel the Qatari broadcaster from the country, accusing it of inciting violence.

His comments raised concerns among free press advocates, with Amnesty International saying Israel's move against the broadcaster was a "brazen attack on media freedom".

Authorities said on August 16 they were moving to revoke Karram's credentials pending a hearing, which was held five days later.

The government press office distributed video of an interview last year in which the 40-year-old Arab Israeli journalist called his work an "integral part" of Palestinian resistance to Israel's occupation.

During the hearing, Karram said "he had no intention of supporting or expressing sympathy for armed resistance," according to the press office.

"The 'resistance' he spoke of was not violent, but rather through the pen, the word and the camera. According to him, 'the resistance means only media exposure to the reality of the Palestinian people living under occupation. I did not adopt, call for or incite to resistance of any kind.'"

Karram also said in the hearing that he never mixes opinion with his reporting, according to the press office.

"In light of his unequivocal remarks, the government press office has decided not to immediately revoke Karram's (press) card, and in the next six months to monitor his reports in Al-Jazeera in order to ensure that his clear statements are reflected in his actual journalistic work and were not mere words," it said.