Published July 17, 2006
JERUSALEM – Israeli police on Monday detained the Jerusalem bureau chief of the Arab satellite station Al-Jazeera for the second time in two days, authorities said.
Walid Al Omari was questioned for several hours about issues related to Israeli military censorship rules, police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said. Al Omari was released without being charged.
Al Omari was first detained late Sunday night in the northern Israeli city of Haifa. He was released several hours later.
Rosenfeld said Al Omari, his cameraman, and an assistant were questioned Sunday about footage they had taken after dozens of Hezbollah rockets landed on Haifa, killing eight Israelis in the guerrilla group's deadliest ever attack on Israel.
Israeli authorities and local media have accused the Qatar-based satellite station of showing sensitive security locations that could be used by Hezbollah to pinpoint targets for an attack.
Al-Jazeera has denied the allegations.
After his release Sunday, Al Omari headed further north to the Lebanese-Israeli border — the scene of fierce fighting between Israeli troops and Hezbollah guerillas for six days. There he was detained a second time.
"The only difference between us and the rest (of the journalists) is that there are people who want to make it difficult for us to do our work after all the incitement against us. I have no other explanation," Al Omari told Israel Radio as he was being taken into custody.
On Sunday, Israeli police also detained Al-Jazeera correspondent Elias Karram in Haifa. His cameraman and assistant were also taken into custody for questioning. All three were released several hours later.