PA news agency strikes to protest arrest of pro-Hamas executive

Ma'an, a major independent Palestinian news agency, declared an open-ended strike on Friday to protest the Palestinian government's arrest of an executive who allowed Hamas officials and activities to appear in agency reports. The agency shut down all 20 of its offices in the West Bank following the detention Thursday of Muataz al-Kurdi, a Ma'an executive and head of the privately owned Al Amal TV station in the West Bank town of Hebron. Ma'an also shut down its Web site. A message posted on the said the agency expressed its "deep disappointment and indignation" at the arrest of journalists.