Al-Jazeera reporter released following revelation of link to Hamas.

by Craig Watson

An Al-Jazeera journalist has been released by the Israeli government following a six week term in prison and attending a hearing into alleged connections with Hamas, an Israeli-labelled terrorist organization in the region. The reporter Samer Allawi was set free following a plea bargain in which he admitted in court to having attended Hamas conferences in 2006 and 2010, resulting in the reduced penalty of termination of his jail sentence and the paying of a large cash fine.

Whilst in hearings, Allawi confessed to have being sourced by Hamas in 1993, leading the court to believe that it was his intention to angle future stories to portray the organization in a positive light. Israeli intelligence revealed that they believed Allawi had been groomed by Hamas to criticize American intervention and support Palestinian opposition movements and disruptive activities in an attempt to sway public opinion.

Preceding his release, Al-Jazeera itself demanded that the Israeli-state release its Kabul bureau chief: ‘Al-Jazeera Network reiterates its demand that Israeli authorities immediately release our journalist Samer Allawi.’ Allawi had been taken in to custody by the Israeli police whilst spending an annual holiday with his family in West Bank, a region of Israel bordering Jordan. As well as Al-Jazeera support, Allawi also generated much support from the online community.

Social networking proved an effective means for the public to show their support for the journalist, as hundreds took to Twitter, Facebook and other social networks to show their support.

Samer Allawi has been given the all-clear to return to work in Afghanistan.

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