Al Araby TV journalist 'interrogated by Mossad in Spain'
Muath Hamed, a reporter for Al Araby TV and freelance contributor for The New Arab's Arabic-language sister site, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, said he was targeted due to an investigation he wrote alleging efforts to recruit Palestinians living in Turkey as spies for Israel.
A report detailing Hamed's experience was published by Spanish news outlet Publico last week, drawing outrage from journalists on social media.
Speaking to Al-Araby TV, Hamed claimed he received a call summoning him to the Spanish Civil Guard's offices in Madrid. On arrival, he found that a member of Israel's Mossad intelligence agency was also present.
The alleged Mossad agent then pressed him to reveal the sources used for the investigative report, which was released two years earlier.
In the 2019 report, a Palestinian intelligence source told Hamed that Israel had been operating a network of shell companies in Georgia, Romania, Italy, the Netherlands and Belgium to attract Palestinian youths with fake job offers. Hamed also interviewed alleged targets of the Mossad scheme for his report.
During the meeting with the alleged Mossad agent in Spain, Hamed said he refused to disclose his sources, telling the man that the interrogation was illegal and in contravention of laws protecting journalists in Europe.
In a joint statement on Monday, Al Araby TV and Al Araby Al Jadeed condemned Hamed's interrogation as an attack on freedom of press and human rights in Europe.
"The interrogation of Muath is illegal and goes against the principles of human rights. It is a serious attack on press freedom," said Abbas Nasser, General Manager of Al Araby TV.
Hussam Kanafani, acting editor-in-chief at Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, slammed Hamed's "illegal interrogation" as "an attempt to suppress freedom of opinion".