- Published on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 12:26
On Tuesday 24th April, it was confirmed that the Palestinian Authority has blocked eight critical news websites in the West Bank since February 2012, based on a report issued by Ma'an News Agency on Monday.
According to Ma'an, most internet users in the West Bank have been denied access to the following websites: Ahmad, Fatah Voice, Firas Press, In Light Press, Karama Press, Kofia Press, Milad news, and Palestine Beituna.
The websites- according to a Ma'an report- criticize the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas, yet they are shown to be sympathetic with Muhammad Dahlan, a former Fatah leader and a critic of Abbas, who has been threatened with expulsion from the PA and whose house was raided by PA security forces last summer.
Palestinian Telecommunication Company, the largest Internet service provider, has blocked all eight websites. The websites are based in Jordan, Egypt and other countries outside of the Palestinian territories. "For a free online press, the internet has to be open for everyone." Said Danny O'Brien, Internet Advocacy Coordinator of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ)," By blocking these websites, the Palestinian Authority is creating a dangerous new infrastructure for the suppression of free speech in its own country."
This act of restriction follows the arrest of critical journalists by the PA in early April for writing about so-called corruption and spying by the Palestinian diplomatic mission in France.