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Palestinian journalists protest against PA crackdown

The protests were called by several organisations after PA security forces used force to disperse a protest on Sunday.

Palestinian journalists in the Gaza Strip and West Bank demonstrated on Monday afternoon in protest at the Palestinian Authority crackdown on their colleagues in Ramallah. The protests were called by several organisations, including the Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate and the Palestinian Journalists' Club, after PA security forces used force to disperse a protest on Sunday outside the PA District Court in Ramallah, the venue for a hearing into the murder of Basel Al-Araj and the detention of five other Palestinians held by Israel.

A number of Palestinian MPs from the Hamas bloc took part in the rally organised in the Gaza Strip. The journalists raised placards condemning the crackdown by the PA security forces.

Al-Araj was murdered by the Israeli occupation forces while hiding inside a Palestinian house in Ramallah last week. He was arrested alongside five other Palestinians by the PA last year. After popular protests, they were released.

Several protesters were wounded, including Al-Araj's father, when the PA security forces dispersed the protest on Sunday, and several journalists reported that their cameras were damaged and recording equipment was confiscated.

The head of the Palestinian Journalists' Club in Gaza, Imad Al-Efranji, blamed the PA for the lack of protection for journalists, and accused the Fatah-controlled authority of violating freedom of speech.

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