The Palestinian Government Media Center responded sharply to claims of violating press freedoms on Tuesday after the Palestinian Authority refused to accommodate any journalists who enter PA-controlled territory with the assistance of the Jerusalem-based Media Central organization. The PA originally blacklisted Media Central after a recent Los Angeles Times
report was somewhat critical of Palestinian officials' failure to organize a large public event to celebrate the city of Jericho's recent 10,000th birthday.
"The Palestinian Government Media Center is very keen, as a new institution, to provide facilities for journalists wishing to report on the reality of life in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and give an accurate view of the political situation," said a statement released by the group. "What it is not prepared to do is work in co-operation with Israeli organizations dedicated to propaganda in support of the Occupation."
The press center's statement then went on to accuse Media Central of "denying reality" by referring to the West Bank as part of the "disputed territories" and not "occupied territories" and the Israeli control of certain civil functions in parts of the West Bank as the "Administration" and not "Occupation."
Seeking to discredit Media Central, the Palestinian Government Media Center reproduced a quote by Media Central's director critical of those who picture Israel as "injuring and tormenting Palestinians for no reason, stealing 'their' land and denying their 'human rights' as oppose to an Israel making difficult decisions, "sometimes making mistakes as it balances security needs against Palestinian humanitarian needs."