Hamas bars entry of Palestinian dailies to Gaza

18:50, July 07, 2010      

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The deposed Hamas government barred the entry of three Palestinian newspapers issued in the West Bank and Jerusalem into Gaza as Israel lifted the ban on the local dailies, a liaison official said on Wednesday.

"We were told by the Hamas government in Gaza that the dailies are not allowed to enter Gaza," the official, who asked his name not to be mentioned, told Xinhua.

He added that Hamas justified its decision by stressing that its government must be directly engaged in such a process.

In several occasions, Hamas had criticized the three newspapers and accused them of promoting the Palestinian National Authority ( PNA) and Fatah movement, the mainstream party that is led by President Mahmoud Abbas.

In 2007, Hamas routed pro-Abbas forces and seized control of Gaza in deadly fighting. In the same year, people close to Hamas launched the first Gaza-based daily, Felesteen.

Israel placed the seaside enclave under tight blockade after the Islamic movement's seizure of the territory.

The Jewish state decided to loosen its blockade after its forces killed nine international activists onboard an aid flotilla that tried to break the three-year-long embargo.

In the West Bank, where Fatah holds sway, two Hamas newspapers and a TV station are banned from working.

Meanwhile, the deposed government of Hamas said in a press release that it "has no idea about the Israeli decision to let the West Bank dailies into Gaza."

"We support the access of the newspapers, but we also call for allowing the distribution of our dailies in the West Bank," the government said in a press release.

Representatives of the three Palestinian dailies in Gaza asked for clarifications over the Hamas' ban.

"We were not informed by anyone that our daily is banned," Sami al-Qishawi, Gaza bureau chief of the leading Al-Ayyam newspaper, told Xinhua.

"We were going to receive the editions, and were seriously astonished to know that the government in Gaza barred them," he added.

Source: Xinhua


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