Israeli Parliament Detains Reporter for Trying to Query Sara Netanyahu on Probes

Channel 10's Akiva Novick, who was released after a few minutes, was inquiring about the two corruption investigations into the prime minister.

Channel 10 parliamentary reporter Akiva Novick at the Knesset, January 31, 2017.
Akiva Novick / Twitter

Security guards in the Israeli parliament briefly detained Channel 10’s parliamentary reporter on Tuesday after he tried to ask Sara Netanyahu questions about the police’s two corruption investigations into her husband.

The reporter, Akiva Novick, was released a few minutes later and was able to report on the visit. The incident will be investigated, the Knesset said.

Sara Netanyahu was at parliament for a meeting of the Bible study caucus. When she arrived, Novick sought to ask her about the criminal cases plaguing her husband, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

One case centers around allegations that the family accepted valuable gifts over a period of years. The other is based on claims that the prime minister offered the publisher of the Yedioth Ahronoth daily, Arnon Mozes, to curtail free competitor Israel Hayom’s circulation in exchange for favorable coverage of the prime minister.

Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and his wife Sara attend the 2016 Genesis Prize in Jerusalem, June 23, 2016.
AMIR COHEN/REUTERS

Novick tweeted in Hebrew: “Sara Netanyahu came to the Knesset. I tried to ask her a question. Security staff from the Knesset Guard informed me that I was being detained and could not attend the session that she was participating in. Totally true.”

Novick later added that he was detained at the Knesset Guard’s offices. He tweeted: “The conduct of the Knesset Guard is unbelievable. Five security officers came to conduct a hearing for me. I claimed that they were detaining me only because it was Sara Netanyahu. They released me immediately.”

Knesset sources said Novick was taking pictures at places in the building where photography is not allowed and did not heed instructions to stop. Other reporters who had taken pictures of the visit were not detained, however.