NBC News has terminated its relationship with a freelance reporter after Israeli authorities arrested her on charges related to inciting terrorism and “identifying with a terrorist organization.”
“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,” NBC told the New York Post on Monday, apparently using an alternative spelling of the reporter’s name, which had been reported elsewhere as Marwat Al-Azza and Mirvat al-Azzeh.
“We understand the material under investigation is not related to any services she provided to NBC News,” the company added.
An unnamed source at NBC told the Post that NBC had reviewed the work Azzeh had submitted since being retained as a freelance producer about two weeks after Hamas’ barbarous October 7 attack on Israel, but had found nothing of concern.
She has been working as a freelance journalist since September of 2018, according to what appears to be her LinkedIn profile, which lists her name as Mirvat AL Azzeh.
“A review of her limited work for NBC News did not uncover any issues,” the source reportedly said.
According to The Jerusalem Post, the 45-year-old freelance reporter was taken into custody on Friday when she turned herself in. She had been wanted for questioning by police since last month over pro-Hamas Facebook posts.
“On October 7, Al-Azza put up posts on her personal Facebook account allegedly supporting Hamas terrorism,” Haartez wrote. “She wrote on the kidnapping of an elderly woman from a Gaza border community, ‘It’s killing me, it’s a black comedy, the old woman looks happy, a bit of action before she dies.’”
Haaretz reported that in other posts on her Facebook page, Azzeh portrayed the ongoing massacre as a film in which Hamas militants were the stars.
“Sirens all the time, the Jews are hiding and the Arabs are out drinking coffee on their balconies,” a post from the freelancer read.
Another post stated, “I feel like I’m watching a movie where the director is Palestinian and the protagonists are from Gaza.”
According to the Post, police said Azzeh cooperated with them and when called on “arrived ready for arrest.” She also reportedly confirmed to investigators that she had authored the Facebook posts.
A representative for police in Jerusalem issued the following afterAzz eh was arrested and saw a judge.
“These are very serious offenses during a time of declared war when the respondent lives and makes a living in the same country that is under attack and yet chooses to incite and glorify the horrible acts committed against civilians,” the spokesperson said.
An attorney for the reporter told the Post that Azzeh has been cooperative.
“This is a normative woman, engaged in journalism, and her role is very important to everyone,” the attorney said. “She was asked in her investigation about her work. I believe that in the things attributed to her, she cooperated fully. She did not try to hide, saying ‘I had a hacker.’”
The attorney asked for her to be released, but a judge ordered her to be confined for at least four additional days following the arrest.
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