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Israel to release detained Palestinian journalist after 8 months in prison

Nov. 16, 2016 3:30 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 16, 2016 5:31 P.M.)
TULKAREM (Ma'an) -- Israeli authorities are expected to release imprisoned Palestinian journalist Sami Said al-Saee on Thursday after detaining him for eight months for alleged incitement.

Al-Saee’s wife told Sawt al-Asra (Voice of Prisoners) radio on Wednesday that her husband had served his sentence and was set to be released.

She added that al-Saee had been interrogated for two weeks in the Huwwara military base when he was first detained, before being transferred to the Megiddo prison, then to the Gilboa detention center.

Al-Saee, 37, is a married father of four residing in the Irtah neighborhood of the city of Tulkarem in the northern occupied West Bank.

He was working as a journalist for both Sawt al-Quds radio and New Dawn TV channel when he was detained by Israeli forces in March and later accused of inciting against Israeli authorities on social media.

In recent months, Israel has detained scores of Palestinians, including journalists, for social media activity, alleging that a wave of unrest that swept the occupied Palestinian territory since October 2015 was encouraged largely by "incitement."

Palestinians have instead pointed chiefly to the frustration and despair brought on by Israel's nearly 50-year military occupation of the Palestinian territory and the absence of a political horizon.

Israel blocked the Facebook accounts of scores of Palestinian journalists, which followed an agreement between several Israeli ministers and Facebook to censor content that Israel deemed as “incitement.”

In August, Palestinian press freedoms watchdog MADA reported that Israeli violations against media freedoms in the occupied Palestinian territory had continued to rise at a rapid pace over the first half of 2016, even after the group reported an “unprecedented” increase in violations throughout 2015.
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