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March 28, 2013 11:41 am

West Bank Reporting by Foreign Journalists to Require PA Permission

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Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority. Photo: WEF.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) issued an order this week forbidding foreign journalists from working in its territories within the West Bank unless the journalists get advance permission from the Palestinian Ministry of Information. Foreign members of the press who ignore this order can be arrested, as can any Palestinian journalists who assist foreign journalists to operate without this permission.

“The Palestinian security forces are entitled to arrest any person who enters the State of Palestine without permission,” said Jihad Qawassmeh, member of the Palestinian Journalist’s Syndicate, according to the Gatestone Institute.

Although the new ruling affects all foreign journalists who want to work in the PA-controlled West Bank, it also comes in retaliation against Israel, based on Palestinian journalists’ complaints that they are not being granted press credentials by the Israeli Government Press Office to work inside Israel.

But the Palestinian Journalist’s Syndicate has already been banning its members from meeting with Israeli colleagues, thereby opposing themselves to normal professional relations between Palestinian and Israeli journalists. Some Palestinian journalists who defied this ban were expelled from the syndicate.

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