Saturday, August 12, 2017

Palestinians Escalate War on Journalists

Palestinians Escalate War on Journalists

by Bassam Tawil  •  August 12, 2017 at 5:00 am
  • They said they did not know what "sensitive information" Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) were trying to hide.
  • Today, it is safe to say that the situation of the freedom of the media under the PA and Hamas is not much different than that under Bashar Assad's Syria or even North Korea.
  • Palestinian journalists' hateful obsession with Israel brings them no dividends. Rather, such venomous bias diverts attention from the true challenges and threats they face from the PA and Hamas. By expending their efforts in this twisted fashion, the journalists aid and abet their leaders in building dictatorial regimes that suppress public freedoms.
The presence of Israeli reporters in Ramallah last week, to cover the visit of Jordan's King Abdullah II, enraged several Palestinian journalists, who took to social media to condemn the Palestinian Authority leadership that gave them permission to cover the visit. (Image source: Palestinian President's Office)
As part of its overarching effort to silence critics, President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestinian Authority (PA) has resumed its war against Palestinian journalists who refuse toe the line or are suspected of being insufficiently loyal to their leaders in Ramallah.
But this is nothing new: Abbas and his team have long been notoriously intolerant of news stories that reflect negatively on them in particular and on Palestinians in general.
In the past few days, PA security forces arrested six Palestinian journalists from Bethlehem, Nablus and Hebron. The journalists -- Mamdouh Hamamreh, Qutaiba Kassem, Tarek Abu Zeid, Amer Abu Arafeh, Thaer Al-Fakhouri and Ahmed Al-Halaykeh -- are suspected of "leaking sensitive information to hostile parties."


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