A Palestinian freelancer working for NBC News was arrested in Israel on suspicion of inciting terror and identifying with a terrorist organization, according to local reports.
Mirvat al-Azzeh, who lives in East Jerusalem, was jailed Thursday after sharing four recent Facebook posts regarding Hamas’ sneak attack on Israel on Oct. 7 that killed more than 1,200 people, according to the Jerusalem Post.
It’s unclear what al-Azzeh, 45, wrote in those posts, though police described them at a hearing at the Jerusalem Magistrate Court as “inciting and glorying the horrible acts committed against civilians,” per the outlet.
NBC, owned by Comcast, said Monday it has cut ties with the journalist. “Before we recently retained Marwat Azza for services as a freelance producer, we were not aware of her personal social media activity that provided the basis for the Israeli investigation,” an NBC spokesperson told The Post, using an alternate spelling of her name.
“We understand the material under investigation is not related to any services she provided to NBC News.” Her most recent byline on Nov. 12 reported that newborns at the al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City were dying as the facility ran out of resources.
NBC News had hired Azzeh as a freelance producer around Oct. 21, according to an NBC source close to the situation. “A review of her limited work for NBC News did not uncover any issues,” the insider told The Post.
Israeli authorities said al-Azzeh “arrived ready for arrest,” without her cell phone but with phone numbers written on her leg, the Jerusalem Post reported.
Al-Azzeh reportedly cooperated fully with Israeli police, who first requested permission from the prosecutor’s office to interrogate the journalist last month. Permission was granted last week, according to the Jerusalem Post, when al-Azzeh admitted to the offenses.
“The woman in question is an ordinary woman, who works as a journalist and whose work is important to us all,” al-Azzeh’s attorney said, according to the Jerusalem Post.
“She was asked during her investigation about her employment. I believe she admitted to all the deeds described to her, and cooperated fully with the investigation.
She did not attempt to conceal the offenses or claim that her accounts had been hacked. Even when she didn’t have a mobile phone, which is the main tool involved, she still said, ‘Yes, those are my posts.’”
After being arrested on Thursday, al-Azzeh was held until a Friday hearing, at which her detention was extended an extra four days, per the outlet.