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Gaza court bans distribution of pro-Abbas newspaper

A Palestinian man reads a newspaper outside his store in Gaza City September 19, 2016. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa
A Palestinian man reads a newspaper outside his store in Gaza City 19 September, 2016 [REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa]

A court in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip has banned the distribution of Al-Hayat al-Jadida, a newspaper close to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Palestine’s WAFA news agency reported Monday.

According to WAFA, the decision was made after Gaza’s Interior Ministry accused the newspaper of “publishing materials that promote sedition and incitement”.

Neither the public prosecutor’s office in Gaza nor the Hamas-run government’s media bureau have yet to comment on the decision.

But in a Monday statement, the Palestinian Journalists’ Bloc, an NGO known to be close to Hamas (which has governed Gaza since 2007), demanded “an end to incitement and hate speech by the [Palestinian Authority’s] Palestine TV Channel and the Al-Hayat al-Jadida newspaper”.

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The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate, for its part, condemned the move, warning Hamas of “the potential consequences of its decision”.

“The syndicate confirms its total rejection of this court verdict,” it said in its own statement.

Based in the West Bank city of Al-Bireh, Al-Hayat al-Jadida is the official newspaper of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority.

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