Hamas officials in Gaza shuttered two Arab media bureaus over their coverage of the Strip’s Islamist leaders on Thursday.
Hamas Attorney General Ismail Jaber told The Associated Press Thursday that he closed the Gaza Strip bureaus of satellite channel al-Arabiya and the West Bank-based outlet Ma’an because they “spread fabricated rumors” that “harm the Palestinian national interest and resistance movements.”
A Ma’an correspondent said Hamas was upset about its reports that Hamas militants were contributing to chaos in the Sinai Peninsula following the ouster of Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi. He spoke on condition of anonymity, because he was not permitted to speak publicly about the matter.
According to a report at Ma’an, Hamas security officers questioned the Gaza bureau chief Thursday over a report in the Bethlehem-based outlet that Muslim Brotherhood officials had sneaked into Gaza to plan an uprising against Cairo.
The information was translated from a Hebrew media report, and Gaza officials denied the report.
Ma’an’s editor in chief said he had lodged complaints with the prime minister’s office in Gaza as well as with former information minister Mustafa Barghouti and a number of journalists’ associations.
Al-Arabiya had no comment.
The media crackdown comes as Egypt’s new government has imposed the toughest border restrictions on Gaza in years.