Upon the request of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Attorney General, a court in the West Bank city of Ramallah decided on Monday to block 59 internet news websites in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
The Magistrate Court said the websites “publish phrases, images and articles that threaten national security and social peace as well as violating the public discipline, the public morals and incite the Palestinian public opinion.”
Most of the news websites are based in the Gaza Strip and belong to Islamic Hamas movement, Islamic Jihad and also to Mohammad Dahlan, leader of Democratic Reform in Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Fatah Party.
Husam Badran, Hamas political bureau member said that “Hamas condemns the decision of banning the electronic news websites, and called on the Palestinian Authority is demanded to stop this haphazard war against the Palestinian media.”
He called on the PA “to respect the international laws and conventions that guarantees the freedom of speech and expression as well as the right of every citizen to gain information and express his or her rights.”
The Democratic Reform in Abbas Fatah Party has also condemned the banning of its news websites. The group said in a press statement that “it is an unprecedented action that harms the freedom of expression in Palestine.”
The statement called on the international community, Human Rights Organizations and all the institutions concerned over the freedom of press and freedom of speech to condemn this behavior that contradicts with the law.”