The Palestinian Authority has decided to ban a number of journalists from entering the presidential Mukata compound in Ramallah. The decision is aimed at punishing the journalists because of their criticism of the PA leadership or for reporting about the activities of Hamas leaders.
Al-Jazeera reporters and TV crews are among those who now appear on the PA's blacklist. They have been denied access to the Mukata for the past two weeks. Other journalists working for Arab and Western media outlets have also been told that they are no longer welcome to visit the compound.
The Foreign Press Association protested "in the strongest possible terms" the ban on Al-Jazeera journalists and urged the authorities in Ramallah to immediately end this restriction. "There can be no legitimate excuse for this unacceptable curtailment of press access to the office and activities of the [PA] president," the association said in a statement. The decision to ban Al-Jazeera came after the popular TV station failed to carry a live broadcast of a speech given by PA President Mahmoud Abbas in front of the PLO Central Council in Ramallah.
I do not really care who in the press the Palestinian Authority decides to bar/ban but given the howls of outrage from the ‘Israel is Apartheid’ crowd for the Israeli policy of refusing to allow reporters access into the Gaza Strip via Israel, I thought it would be worthwhile to give this report a little wider coverage and see if any dawgs bark...I fully expect the silence will be rather deafening.