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NBC cuts ties with journalist arrested by Israel for glorifying Hamas attacks

NBC News has cut ties with a Palestinian freelancer who was arrested in Israel on suspicion of inciting terror and identifying with a terrorist organization.

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 that the journalist was no longer working with them.

“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.

Palestinian journalist Mirvat al-Azzeh, 45, was arrested in Jerusalem after sharing four Facebook posts police said glorified terrorism, including Hamas’ Oct. 7 ambush attack on Israel.YouTube/@mohammedassar

Israeli authorities said al-Azzeh “arrived ready for arrest,” without her cellphone 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.

It wasn’t immediately clear how much jail time al-Azzeh could be facing.

In al-Azzeh’s final byline at NBC on Nov. 12, she reported on the rapidly declining conditions at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City.X/@IDF

Back in April, al-Azzeh shared a 24-minute post to YouTube titled “See the full story: An x-ray technician harasses journalist Mervat Al-Azza and grabs her breasts!!”

In the video, al-Azzeh describes, in Arabic, how she was assaulted at a West Bank hospital, but felt pressured by authorities to drop her complaint against her attacker and was ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation, according to a report of the incident in Middle East Eye.

“I cannot find a reason for this, I just see them making things harder for me,” al-Azzeh told the outlet at the time.

According to al-Azzeh’s LinkedIn page, she has been a freelance journalist since September 2018.

Her arrest comes as other mainstream US outlets have sparked outrage over relying on journalists who have expressed antisemitic sentiments in the past.

The New York Times recently rehired a Hitler-praising filmmaker to cover the Israeli-Hamas war.

Soliman Hijjy — who hailed the Nazi leader as recently as 2018 in a post on Facebook — boasted a byline at the Times nearly every day between Oct. 12 and Oct. 19, reporting from Gaza.

Palestinian filmmaker Soliman Hijjy is freelancing for the New York Times again, recent bylines at the news giant revealed, one year after the journalist came under fire for lauding Hitler.Soliman Hijjy/Facebook

Last year, this post by Hejji on Facebook was unearthed. It shows Adolf Hitler taking a selfie with an Arabic caption that translates to: “How great you are, Hitler.”via HonestReporting

Hijjy’s 2018 post — including a 2012 Facebook post where he wrote, “How great you are, Hitler” in Arabic alongside a Photoshopped image of Hitler seemingly taking a selfie — were unearthed last year, when pro-Israel outlets called out the Times for hiring antisemitic journalists as freelancers.

At the time, Hijjy didn’t appear to be working for the Times anymore, and had since taken down his controversial pro-Hitler posts.

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ripped mainstream Western media — including Reuters, the Associated Press, CNN and the New York Times — for working with photojournalists embedded with Hamas during the Oct. 7 massacre.

CNN ended up severing ties with a freelancer who was photographed getting a kiss from the terror group’s leader.

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