Police Detain Al Jazeera Crew Members for Third Time

Popular Arab TV network blames Reshet Bet for incitement, falsely tipping off police of crewmembers aiding Hezbollah.

Police detained Al Jazeera crew members three times in twenty-four hours, the last being on Monday. The official cause for the brief arrests was suspicions against the crew members of reporting on the location of rocket hits in order to assist Hezbollah.

Other TV networks, including Israeli news services, made similar reports without suffering from police intervention.

On Monday police detained Al Jazeera manager Walid al-Omri for reporting of rocket hits in the Upper Galilee village of Kfar Yasif. Al-Omri was also detained late on Sunday.

Also on Sunday police detained for questioning Al Jazeera correspondent Elias Karam and the team working with him in Acre. The team was released after an hour of questioning.

Al Jazeera said Israel Radio's Reshet Bet is inciting against the Qatar-based television network, after the arrest of Karam's team.

Reshet Bet reported Sunday morning that the Al Jazeera network aired live footage of the scene of Hezbollah strikes on Haifa, which the station's broadcasters said helps Hezbollah adjust the aim of the rockets it fires on Israel.

Al-Omri wrote a letter to Israel Radio manager Yoni Ben Menachem in response, saying, "The incident had no basis... We view this incitement as very grave and demand it end."

Reshet Bet has not responded to Al Jazeera's allegations.

Al Jazeera, the most popular television station in the Arab world, has been working around the clock in recent days to provide coverage of the violence in Israel and Lebanon. Al Jazeera sources said on Sunday that the network strictly obeys all instructions it receives on what is permitted and forbidden to air.

"The same images [aired Sunday] were shown on other channels without any response," the sources said.