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July 26, 2013 1:58 am

Hamas Shuts Two Arab Media Bureaus in Gaza Amid Worries Over Crackdown in Sinai

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Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal (L) and PA President Mahmoud Abbas. Photo: Jewish Policy Center. Hamas has closed two Arab media bureaus in Gaza over their coverage of the Palestinian terror group.

Ismail Jaber, Hamas’s Attorney-General, told the Associated Press that the group had closed down the bureaus of the Saudi Arabian owned Al-Arabiya and the West Bank-based Ma’an News Agency because they “spread fabricated rumors” that “harm the Palestinian national interest and resistance movements.”

But a Ma’an correspondent told the Associated Press that Hamas was upset with Ma’an reports that Hamas terrorists were contributing to the chaos in the Sinai Peninsula.

Hamas has been feeling increasing pressure since the ouster of neighboring Egypt’s Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in early July.

Hamas, which is an offshoot of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood party, is concerned about Egypt’s military crackdown on Islamic extremists in the Sinai Peninsula.

According to the New York Times, the crackdown has resulted in the destruction of around 80 percent of the illegal smuggling tunnels that run beneath the Egypt-Gaza border. Hamas depends on the tunnels for the smuggling of weapons and rockets into its territory, as well as for construction and other goods for Gazan residents that it taxes.

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