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Gaza: Press vests fail to protect Palestinian journalists

alt informationNews coverage of the ongoing Gaza conflict would be infinitely poorer without local journalists, but it’s clear that international media needs to show their commitment by providing Palestinian reporters and fixers with extra support. Ruth Michaelson reports

Twitter suspends Hamas military wing account

alt informationThe social media ban on the Al Qassam Brigade could have a knock on effect for civil society in Gaza. Ruth Michaelson reports

Hamas shut down media bureaus over Egypt coverage

Gaza’s de-facto Hamas government closed the office of Al Arabiya, Palestinian network Ma’an news and the local production company Lens on Thursday. Ma’an reported the incident as having received a closure order from the Attorney General delivered directly to their offices. Al Arabiya published a report from their Gaza correspondent, stating that employees had been […]

Jordan blocks over 200 ‘unlicensed’ websites

The Jordanian government began blocking over 200 websites on Sunday for failing to obtain licenses under a strict set of new guidelines, Ruth Michaelson reports.

An interview with one of Gaza’s banned journalists

On 25 December 2012, Gaza’s Hamas government announced a ban on Palestinian journalists working with Israeli media.  This decision affected just three journalists in Gaza, one of whom is 25-year-old Abeer Ayyoub. Abeer went from working as a fixer for visiting foreign journalists to writing stories herself, and in the process landing a job with Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz. Starting at the beginning of the last attack on Gaza in November 2012, she quickly made a name for herself by breaking stories that most journalists operating in the Strip had never realised existed. I spoke to Abeer about what the ban means for her work, and for the state of press freedom in Gaza today Ruth Michaelson: When we spoke the [...]

An interview with one of Gaza’s banned journalists

On 25 December 2012, Gaza’s Hamas government announced a ban on Palestinian journalists working with Israeli media.  This decision affected just three journalists in Gaza, one of whom is 25-year-old Abeer Ayyoub. Abeer went from working as a fixer for visiting foreign journalists to writing stories herself, and in the process landing a job with […]

Gaza: When is a journalist not a journalist?

OPINION “Maybe we have a discussion about who is a journalist,” said Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev, in a much-publicised interview with Al Jazeera on Monday during which he was grilled about Israeli attacks on media centres in Gaza City. Even with the hopes for the current ceasefire holding, this is undoubtedly still a discussion that needs to be […]

Syria’s opposition: A view from Jordan

Since the beginning of the Syrian uprising in March 2011, Jordan has become a haven for many activists, to the growing concern of the Jordanian government. The country attracts many activists who fear reprisals by Hezbollah should they go to Lebanon, but who equally do not wish to connect with the Syrian National Council in […]

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas under fire for web censorship

UPDATE 27 April: Communications Minister Mashhour Abu Daka resigned yesterday, citing personal reasons. Abu Daka reportedly accused al-Mughni of “gagging free expression” shortly before his resignation. The Palestinian Authority has reportedly enforced a block on accessing sites critical of President Mahmoud Abbas by pressuring Internet Service Providers (ISPs) since February. Local news agency Ma’an made the […]

X Marks the spot: Jordanian government seeks internet controls through porn

Jordanian internet users have reacted angrily to government encroachment on the freedom of the internet. Flying in the face of the reputation of Jordan as a Middle East haven for technology and relative liberalism, the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology has stated its support for a blanket ban on online pornographic material, an easy […]

Palestinian authorities arrest and detain critics for Facebook post‎s

Two arrests linked to Facebook posts critical of the Palestinian Authority (PA) have spurred a variety of human rights and media freedom groups to call on the PA to stop harassing their critics. On Wednesday 28 March, Palestinian Preventative Security Forces detained lecturer Ismat Abdul-Khaleq “after they read a quote on her Facebook page accusing […]

Palestinian journalist detained for covering corruption scandal

Journalist Yousef Al Shayeb, detained by the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank town of Ramallah, was released on bail on Monday “pending investigation” after eight days of incarceration. Al Shayeb began a hunger strike “in the name of press freedom” three days in, after a court renewed his detention order for a further 15 […]