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News :: Civil & Human Rights : Media Criticism : Peace & War : Police State

Palestinian Media Running Scared

Those who claim that Israel does not allow freedom of the press, should consider how journalists are treated in the Palestinian Authority. While Israel has the largest number of media outlets in the mideast (3rd largest in the world after New York City and London) and explicit rights of freedom of press guaranteed under Israeli law, not a word of copy, or radio broadcast, or television show is allowed unless government authorities in the PA give the okay. And they DON'T give the okay if the news is critical of Arafat.

This short article by Khaled Abu Toameh documents the case of a journalist who has fled the PA with his family after receiving death threats from one of the groups under Arafat's wing.
A Palestinian newspaper editor recently fled Ramallah together with his wife and children for one of the Gulf countries after receiving death threats from the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Fatah. Before leaving, he received a letter with a bullet and a note: "Your fate will be like that of Nabil Amr," referring to the Palestinian legislator who was shot and seriously wounded several weeks ago in Ramallah after he appeared on an Arab television station and criticized Arafat's performance and the lack of democracy and transparency in the PA.

The verbal and physical intimidation of Palestinian journalists, especially those who dare to report on issues that reflect negatively on Arafat and the PA, has almost become accepted practice in the West Bank and Gaza.

The Palestinian Journalists Association, a body controlled by Arafat loyalists, has issued a directive banning Palestinian journalists from covering the internal strife. The majority of Palestinian journalists are complying with the new regulations. Many reporters working for Al-Jazeera and the foreign media live in Ramallah and Gaza City and are subjected to the same threats, so have begun toeing the line.

Perhaps the international community doesn't even know that the Palestinian media is entirely controlled by Arafat and that many journalists are under threat. (Access/Middle East)

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Honesty often ignored by arab rulers

its about time that people start to realize that the media in the arab countroled country will only say what the leardership want them to say.


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