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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Freedom of the Press, 'Palestinian' Style

This just in from al-Reuters:
Gunmen stormed an office of a Palestinian news service on Tuesday, beating up one reporter and vandalizing equipment, witnesses and the news agency said.

Witnesses said unidentified gunmen smashed a computer and destroyed other equipment at the official WAFA news agency office in the southern Gaza Strip town of Khan Yunis.

The agency is controlled by Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

The attack in Gaza coincided with rising tension between Abbas' Fatah movement and Hamas over the killing last week of a senior intelligence official loyal to the chairman, a shooting that has further complicated efforts to form a unity government.

The agency said one reporter was attacked and taken to hospital for treatment.

While there was no claim of responsibility, the gunmen accused WAFA of biased media coverage. WAFA has not blamed the attack on any faction.

Last June, gunmen stormed an office of Palestine TV in Gaza, accusing the network, which is also controlled by Abbas, of favoring Fatah.

Fatah had blamed the incident on Hamas militants, a charge Hamas denied.

Seeking to resolve their differences and lift Western sanctions, the moderate Abbas and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas announced plans to form a unity government last week.
Give them a state reichlet. That will solve all of the world's problems.


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