Palestinian journalist given asylum in the UK accused of ‘mocking’ hostages | UK | News

April 7, 2024
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Palestinian journalist Hajar Harb has been accused of mocking Israeli hostages taken by Hamas on October 7.

Ms Harb, who has co-authored a series of pieces about the lives of Palestinians still in Gaza, was given leave to remain in the UK after appealing against a prison sentence and fine given by a court based in Gaza in 2019.

However, the Campaign for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting and Analysis (Camera) has claimed Ms Harb mocked Israeli hostages on social media.

The group, that campaigns for balanced reporting on Israeli have revealed that Ms Harb published a series of posts in the aftermath of the October 7 attacks, posts which she has since deleted.

One of the posts, published on Facebook the day after on October 8, shows an image of the number 600 written in red flowers. According to Camera, each flower represented one of Hamas’ victims with 600 representing the number of people known to have been killed at that point.

Alongside the image, Ms Harb allegedly added a caption. Translated it said: “On top of [any] loss amongst them is [like] flowers, just the number is beautiful.” A second translation claimed it actually said: “Although it is a waste of flowers, the number is sweet.”

In another post, Camera claims that Ms Harb mocked hostage Yaffa Adar, 85, who was kidnapped by Hamas.

They allege that Ms Harb imitated what Hamas would have been telling the since released hostage: “See this place ma’am? Allah willing, you’ll remain inside with us for a while.”

A spokesperson for Camera told the Telegraph: “During the Oct 7 massacre, Ms Harb celebrated the events in a series of social media posts which have since been deleted.

“Celebrating the largest slaughter of Jewish civilians in many decades befits neither newspapers nor journalists; it damages the Washington Post’s reputation in particular, and proves that Ms.”

They added that Ms Harb should not be given the same “privileges” that are normally given to other journalists abroad or in the UK.

In response to the claims, supporters of Ms Harb have said that her social media posts have been taken the wrong way and that their meaning is not reflected truthfully in the translation from Arabic to English.

In a statement in response to the claims, the Home Office reaffirmed that there was no place for extremism in the UK, but they could not comment on the allegations.

They explained: “It is long-standing government policy that we do not routinely comment on individual cases. We are clear that extremism has no place in our society.”

Express.co.uk has contacted Hajar Harb and Camera for comment.



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