Hamas 'target journalists' in Gaza

By Jennifer Lipman, October 13, 2010
Hamas raided the union's headquarters

Hamas raided the union's headquarters

Hamas has closed down the offices of the Palestinian Journalists Union in the Gaza Strip.

Members of the terrorist organisation raided the Fatah-dominated union’s headquarters and announced that it would be closed until further notice.

Abdelnasser al-Najar, the head of the union, said more than 20 media organisations had been shut down since Hamas took power in Gaza in 2007.

He said this was the latest in a series of "violations of the rights of the media".

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) condemned the decision and described it as an “inexcusable intrusion" in the internal affairs of Palestinian journalists.

Jim Boumelha, the IFJ President, said: "The action by the Hamas government is a violation of journalists' rights

"We join our affiliate the Palestinian Journalists' Syndicate in their strong protest and we support their demand for an investigation into this action."

He added: "It is impossible not to conclude that Hamas authorities are targeting journalists who wish to promote solidarity and unity.

"It is another example of Hamas intolerance in the Gaza Strip which has seen other actions to restrict media freedoms, including the closure of several media and detentions of tens of journalists."

Fatah, which dominates the Palestinian Authority, rivals Hamas for control in the area.

As the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority began in September, Hamas terrorists killed four Israeli civilians in a drive-by shooting.

In June, armed assailants vandalised a United Nations children’s summer camp in central Gaza.

Last updated: 1:18pm, October 13 2010