Austria arrests Mustafa Ayash, director of "Gaza Now," after US and British sanctions, with false allegations and incitement by "Israel"

الأحد 21 أبريل, 2024

Gaza Now is known as the most popular media channel in Palestine during the ongoing events in the Gaza Strip after October 7, as local and international media rely on the Gaza Now website to get the first news updates and information coming from the Gaza Strip, which was the only one to cover the events during the electricity and internet blackout in all areas of the Gaza Strip.

On the X and Telegram platforms, Gaza Now, among dozens of Palestinian platforms, publishes daily posts containing videos, photos and news of the ongoing Israeli aggression on Gaza. Although hundreds of thousands of followers on WhatsApp and Instagram, the same number on Telegram, and about eight million on Facebook are interested in what the site publishes, the country of "freedom of expression" and information flow, the United States, had a very different opinion.

On Thursday, Gaza al-Aan announced the arrest of its director Mustafa Ayyash by Austrian authorities, hours after the United States and Britain announced sanctions against the channel.

Washington's role is at a level that contradicts its institutions' propaganda about freedoms and "combating the suppression of freedoms." For merely broadcasting news of the genocidal war from outside the "mother of democracy," Palestinians are subjected to more McCarthyism and inquisition.

Although Gaza Now is "an independent Palestinian news website with no political affiliation, whether inside or outside Gaza," Washington, London and their minions in Western and Northern Europe have another arbitrary opinion.
The U.S. Treasury Department is putting its "head in a news website's head" to sanction the platform because it, along with others, urged people to help Gaza's children overcome the Israeli occupation state's starvation war crimes.
Mustafa Ayyash, the founder and editor of the website, whether one agrees or disagrees with the way this platform, which allows its followers to follow Gaza news, operates, is on the US-British "sanctions" list.

A statement from the channel said via X: "In an attempt to silence the voice of wounded Gaza and stop publicizing the suffering of the Palestinian people and the genocidal massacres committed against women, children and the elderly, the occupation is trying hard to prosecute anyone connected to the Palestinian media." He continued: "The latest of these attempts was the prosecution of journalist and director of Gaza Now, Mustafa Ayyash, by storming his house, tampering with its contents, confiscating electronic devices, arresting him and his wife, and taking him to interrogation."

The channel also announced that the Austrian police hacked its WhatsApp account, which is followed by 300,000 users, and closed it, in addition to closing the channel's Facebook pages and accounts, which are followed by eight million users. The statement recalled that "earlier, the Israeli occupation killed Ayyash's family by targeting them, and 41 members of his family were martyred, and the Israeli occupation is still pursuing him on charges that he had nothing to do with, in cooperation with the Austrian police, the US administration and Britain.

"Gaza Now" noted that the occupation threatens him from time to time with prosecution and killing, as well as killing his family, and stopping all social media for the channel.

The network is accused: "collecting donations for Hamas." This is reminiscent of the genocidal narrative that every Palestinian in Gaza is from Hamas and must be killed, which is repeated by Zionist news sites in the West, without his "sad" conscience trembling at the exposure of his Zionist ally's crimes against civilians in Gaza and elsewhere.

On Telegram, there are dozens of Palestinian websites that link to Gaza and its people, some of which have been active in recent weeks to secure the minimum needs of the children of the shame of the international community, which stands in the way of supporting civilians, resigned to the arrogance and meanness of the Zionist-settler extremists standing at the Gaza border to prevent the passage of trucks, with the

knowledge of the diplomats of the governments of this hypocrisy and double standards in the West.

The U.S. Treasury Department, with its ironic stick of sanctions targeting anyone and everyone who opposes this hypocrisy, targeted not only Gaza Now, but also companies accused of collaborating with the site to raise funds for the people of Gaza.

In any case, what Palestinian content is witnessing on social media is not easy, especially since the movement in solidarity with Gaza and Palestine in Europe has contributed to an important part of changing the public mood and stabilizing support for the Palestinian cause among Western youth, and generations of immigrants have played a role in trying to support the people of Gaza, especially during the month of Ramadan. But now that it has reached the point of intelligence targeting of those responsible for these platforms and websites, it is reminiscent of the behavior of repressive and authoritarian regimes.

By Nasser al-Sahli, Palestinian journalist and correspondent for The New Arab


Mustafa Mu'in Mahmoud Ayyash lost his family in an Israeli airstrike on the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza Strip, after Israeli aircraft targeted his home on Wednesday, November 22, 2023. His father, mother, siblings, their spouses, children, as well as his sisters, their spouses, and children, along with other displaced persons in his family home were martyred.

The Israeli occupation continues to incite against Palestinians, activists, and humanitarian and media workers to prevent anyone from conveying the suffering of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip amidst the ongoing genocide war.