Palestinian journalists impose news blackout to protest attack on news outlet

Al-Arabiya under criticism by Hamas for showing Haniyeh "using name of God."

January 23, 2007 00:22
Palestinian journalists impose news blackout to protest attack on news outlet

Haniyeh 298.88. (photo credit: AP [file])

Palestinian journalists imposed a daylong news blackout on Tuesday to protest an explosion at the Gaza City offices of the al-Arabiya satellite news station. There was no claim of responsibility for the blast on Monday, and the station did not assign blame. But it did accuse the Hamas-led government, which has been critical of the Arabic-language news channel's coverage, of failing to protect it. Al-Arabiya journalists said they had received dozens of threats, including death threats. Hundreds of journalists and Palestinian officials gathered in the courtyard of the parliament building in Gaza City on Tuesday to protest the attack, which caused considerable damage but no injuries because the offices were empty at the time. Ahmed Bahr of Hamas, the deputy parliament speaker, called the blast a "cowardly act" timed to coincide with the resumption later Tuesday of coalition talks between Hamas and the rival Fatah Party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. It "aims to drive wedges among Palestinians," Bahr declared. Ghazi Hamad rejected allegations that the government or Hamas was responsible for the attack on al-Arabiya. "We in government denounce this criminal, unnationalistic and immoral act," he told the crowd.

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