JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel deported a Jewish-American journalist working for a Palestinian news agency.
Jared Malsin, 26, the English-language editor of the Palestinian Ma’an news agency, was placed on a flight out of Israel Wednesday. He had spent the last week at an airport detention facility, according to Ma’an.
Malsin was detained Jan. 12 at Israel’s Ben Gurion International Airport following a vacation in the Czech Republic and ordered deported by the Interior Ministry after raising security suspicions.
Israel’s Interior Ministry said Malsin refused to answer interrogators’ questions, even though he knew he could be deported as a result. His tourist visa was also reportedly expired, according to reports. His girlfriend, who volunteered for the Lutheran Church in Jerusalem and returned with him from the Czech Republic, was deported 48 hours after they landed in Israel. ,
A Tel Aviv District Court stayed the deportation the following day and sought more information on the journalist, who grew up in Hanover, N.H.and is a graduate of Yale University.
The Interior Ministry said Malsin dropped his challenge to the deportation order on Tuesday evening, paving the way for his deportation on Wednesday.
According to Ma’an, interrogation transcripts obtained by the news service show that Malsin was considered a security risk on the basis of his political beliefs, determined by his news stories that criticize the State of Israel. The transcripts also said, according to Ma’an, that security officials believe Malsin "exploited his Jewishness" to gain entry to Israel.
Ma’an, based in Bethlehem, has several radio stations and a television channel in the West Bank. The news agency also runs a Web site in English, Arabic and Hebrew.