Israel court extends house arrest of Palestinian journalist Lama Ghosheh

Israel court extends house arrest of Palestinian journalist Lama Ghosheh
Israel has extended the house arrest of Palestinian journalist Lama Ghosheh, whose verdict was postponed until April 18.
2 min read
The Israeli court accused the 30-year-old mother of two of 'inciting violence' [source: Getty]

An Israeli court on Tuesday extended the months-long house arrest of a Palestinian journalist from occupidc east Jerusalem.

Lama Ghosheh, a freelance reporter for various Palestinian media outlets, was detained in September and placed under house arrest after 10 days in jail.

The 30-year-old has been accused of "incitement to violence" and "identification with a terrorist group", according to an Israeli indictment which mentions Facebook posts and messages as evidence.

The charge sheet describes her work as a journalist and her thousands of online followers as giving her posts greater weight.

At the Jerusalem magistrates court, her lawyer Mohammed Mahmoud said officials postponed the verdict until April 18, during which time she will remain under house arrest.

Mahmoud added that the court was considering a penalty of community service rather than a prison term, if his client is convicted.

Ghosheh told AFP her Facebook posts reflected "the narrative of the Palestinian street and weren't invented from my imagination."

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She arrived at the court alongside her children, aged three and five.

"I brought my two children with me because I want them to face the fear that has been in their minds since the moment I was arrested," she told AFP.

"House arrest has transformed my home from a safe place and space into a space of authority and control," she added.

Israel has occupied east Jerusalem since the 1967 Arab-Israeli War and bans political activities related to the Palestinian Authority, which views the eastern part of the city as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

On Monday, Israel's National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir ordered the closure of an east Jerusalem office of Voice of Palestine, a public broadcaster based in the occupied West Bank.

He accused it of "incitement and supporting terror" and said it was not licensed to operate from Jerusalem.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists on Monday called on Israeli authorities to "immediately reverse their order" to shut the office and "cease harassing members of the press".