Group slams Hamas for closure of Gaza Strip offices

Palestinian Journalists Syndicate: “We demand that Hamas apologize for this new crime against our syndicate and its board members."

Islamic Jihad 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Islamic Jihad 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate on Tuesday condemned the closure of its offices in the Gaza Strip by Hamas security officers.
The syndicate also condemned the summoning of its representatives for interrogation by Hamas’s security forces.
The syndicate said it held Hamas responsible for the safety of the journalists in the Gaza Strip, and called for its offices to be reopened.
“We demand that Hamas also apologize for this new crime against our syndicate and its board members,” said one of the heads of the syndicate in the West Bank. “We urge Arab and foreign journalists and human rights activists to intervene with Hamas to stop its repeated crimes against the syndicate and its members in the Gaza Strip.”
The Fatah-dominated group noted that the closure of its Gaza offices had come just as it had begun organizing workshops to train local journalists and work toward preventing a split in the syndicate.
It said that the latest measure against its offices in the Strip was part of a wider Hamas campaign targeting Palestinian journalists and institutions, and that in the past few years, Hamas security forces had closed down more than 25 press offices and detained dozens of journalists in the Gaza Strip.
Tahseen al-Astal, a member of the syndicate’s board of directors in Gaza, said that Hamas security officers in plain clothes had raided his offices in the morning and handed him a closure order issued by the Hamas-run Ministry of Interior. He said that the officers had not given any reason for the decision to shut the headquarters.