Naharnet

Israel Arrests Correspondent for Iran State Media

Israel has arrested a correspondent for Iran's Arabic-language television in the annexed Golan Heights, police said on Wednesday.

Al-Alam news channel identified the journalist as Bassam al-Safadi.

Police said he was "suspected of diffusion (of information) supporting a terrorist organization and incitement to violence and terrorism", without elaborating.

A court in Nazareth in northern Israel extended his detention until Sunday, police said.

Al-Alam said in a statement that he was arrested "for no reason" in Masada, a village dominated by the Druze minority.

His computer, camera and mobile phone were confiscated, the statement added.

He is being held in Tzalmon prison in northern Israel, the police said, calling him a 43-year-old Arab Israeli.

Many Golan Druze, however, consider themselves Syrians.

Fares Sarafandi who works for Al-Alam in the occupied Palestinian territories told AFP that Safadi was their correspondent in the Golan Heights.

Iran is an ally of Syria, which is technically at war with Israel, and a sworn enemy of the Jewish state.

Hussein Mortada, head of Al-Alam's office in Syria, said the arrest was part of a "systematic campaign" by Israel against the media.

Israel seized 1,200 square kilometers (460 square miles) of the Golan Heights from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexed it in a move never recognized by the international community.

Source: Agence France Presse


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