Watchdog ‘shocked’ by Hamas ban on journalists talking to Israelis
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Watchdog ‘shocked’ by Hamas ban on journalists talking to Israelis

Reporters Without Borders say decision threatens freedom of press, 'will create problems' for Palestinian journalists

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

Journalists for al-Arabiya on the border of the Gaza Strip (illustrative photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Journalists for al-Arabiya on the border of the Gaza Strip (illustrative photo credit: Nati Shohat/Flash90)

An international watchdog formed to safeguard the freedom of the press said it was “shocked to learn” Hamas’s new rule banning Palestinian reporters and media outlets from cooperating with their Israeli counterparts.

“This is the first time the Palestinian authorities have issued such a ban, which poses a serious threat to freedom of information,” Reporters Without Borders said in a statement last week, noting the decision “will also create problems” for the Palestinians within Gaza who work for Israeli media outlets.

The press watchdog urged “the Hamas government to reconsider this order.”

In late December, the Gaza cabinet adopted a decision to ban Palestinian journalists from working “with all Zionist media and journalists.” The announcement cited Israeli “hostility” as a reason for the order.

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