Hamas security agents arrested al-Luh and Fayadh in early morning raids in Deir Al-Balah, in the Gaza Strip, according to local news reports and CPJ interviews.
Al-Luh’s father, Khalid, told CPJ that security agents searched the family home at 1:30 a.m. Agents arrested al-Luh and seized his computer, two cell phones, and a camera, the father said. Al-Luh was a freelance reporter for Fatah-affiliated newspapers and news agencies, including Al-Hayat al-Jadida and Palestine Press. In July, Hamas banned distribution of Al-Hayat al-Jadida in Gaza.
Fayadh, who also wrote for Al-Hayat al-Jadida, was also arrested around 1:30 a.m. at his family home, his brother, Ashraf, told CPJ. Agents confiscated the journalist’s computer and storage discs, his brother said.
Ashraf Fayadh said he believed the journalists had not been formally charged. He said his brother told him during a prison visit that he was arrested because of his reporting for Al-Hayat al-Jadida. Khalid al-Luh said that his son was accused of “writing articles against the government” and disturbing security.
Both families said the journalists were being held in Al-Saraya Prison in Gaza.
Saleh Masharqah, the editor of Al-Hayat al-Jadida, said he believed the two were arrested because of their journalism and political background, “They were well-known as journalists in the area. They were covering wide range of issues, from daily news to economy to politics,” he said.