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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

March 04, 2003

Reporters Sans Frontiers' Predators of Press Freedom

I find it interesting that Ariel Sharon is included yet for the Palestinian Authority they just have a figure with a blacked out face and detail the 'Predator' as 'Palestinian Security Forces'. And who is it that holds those forces in an iron grip? It seems RSF cannot recall his name.

Since the Palestinian Authority does not have an army, a dozen "security forces" maintain law and order. They act with complete impunity, like political police, ready to muffle all dissenting voices. In 2000 they interrogated or detained several journalists reporting criticism of the Palestinian Authority. Several TV stations were closed temporarily for similar reasons.

Since the second Intifada began, both official and privately-owned media have been propaganda vehicles for the Palestinian Authority. TV stations continuously broadcast programmes praising martyrs and stirring up hatred and violence. Several foreign journalists have been threatened, intimidated or attacked by security forces. Foreign reporters known to be critical of the Palestinian Authority run serious risks if they try to enter the Territories. But Palestinian reporters are at risk too. Few Israeli journalists dare enter Palestinian territory.

Cross posted at Voice from the Commonwealth