Israel on Wednesday deported an American journalist serving as head of the English department in a Palestinian-based news agency.
Jared Malsin, who is contracted to Ma’an News Agency, was deported after being held by authorities at Ben Gurion International Airport for eight days.
Israel’s Interior Ministry said Malsin was deported because he refused to reply to questions posed by security officers upon his return from a vacation in Prague.
"I guess he didn’t like it and chose to leave the country," Ministry spokeswoman Sabine Haddad said.
Ma’an officials described Malsin as a "law-abiding civilian." They criticized the decision and said he had been forced to leave because he helped the Palestinian people on the global public relations front.
"The Israelis don’t care what is written about them in Arabic or in Hebrew, they only care about publications in English, and Israel, especially after the war in Gaza, doesn’t want certain things to be published and conveyed to English-speaking people in the world," the agency’s Chief Editor Nasser Lahham said.
"The Israelis don’t want the truth to come out to the world in a language it understands."
Lahham said the American Consulate as well as regional and European rights and journalist organizations had been informed of the deportation.