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Censorship in Palestine

Written by Subject: Israel - Palestine

Censorship in Palestine

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org - Home - Stephen Lendman)

Israel notoriously wages war on truth-telling, notably online - targeting postings by social web sites and bloggers.

Longtime Israeli collaborator Mahmoud Abbas operates the same way - at war with his own people, providing enforcer services for his Israeli master.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) he heads blocked about a dozen web sites from being accessed in the West Bank. They're located in areas outside PA control.

The Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate blasted the move, calling it "a clear violation of Basic Law (in Palestine) and all media laws."

A PA official lied claiming blockage was over "a number of pending cases against them for reporting false information and being unethical." The action was for political reasons alone.

Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights head Ammar Dwaik criticized the blockage, saying:

"Blocking websites, especially news sites, is contrary to the principles of human rights, specifically the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the right to access to information, as it has no basis in law, and is bad for our people."

The Palestinian Center for Development and Media Freedoms (MADA) expressed "deep concern about the blocking of a number of Palestinian websites," adding:

"This decision constitutes a serious violation of freedom of the press and expression and calls for the repeal of such measures and practices, which in this day and age of technological developments, is something of the past; and as suppression of voice and opinion is no longer possible in our day and age."

Amad Media general supervisor Hasan Asfour expressed concern about blockage of his site. His ISP said it was banned in the West Bank - "with no prior alert and no clear reasons or justifications" given.

Shebab News Agency said its site "was blocked suddenly without any warning and without violating Palestinian laws."

Palestinian Basic Law protects media and speech freedoms. MADA urged PA officials to unblock all affected sites.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

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