Following sharp criticism over Internet censorship, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday ordered the attorney-general to unblock eight critical websites belonging to Abbas rival Muhammad Dahlan, Army Radio reported.

In the order, Abbas said: "Freedom of expression is a right enshrined in the law, therefore, from here forward, the enforcement agencies will be prohibited from shutting down websites."

Abbas also called on journalists to cover events in a "fair and objective manner."

The Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency revealed in April that the PA had blocked up to eight critical news sites since the beginning of the year.

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