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Hamas cracks down on Gaza journalists

The security services in Gaza arrested 17 journalists last month in a crackdown against what it called “propagandists” who are alleged to be publishing false news and rumors.
A Palestinian journalist speaks to the camera as she stands on a flooded street following heavy rain in Gaza City November 27, 2014. The civil defence asked residents in an area east of Gaza City to evacuate their homes to avoid being trapped in flood waters from a nearby lake. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem (GAZA - Tags: SOCIETY ENVIRONMENT MEDIA TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) - RTR4FST8

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — On April 26, the Ministry of Interior in Gaza launched a crackdown against what it described as “propagandists.” During this unprecedented move, 17 Palestinian journalists and activists were arrested for several hours before being released after pledging not to publish news about internal Palestinian affairs before verifying it with official sources.

The crackdown came in the wake of escalating disputes between President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas, and only a day after the Gaza Interior Ministry threatened to take decisive action against social media propagandists, saying, “Some activists deliberately spread rumors on social media in order to stir up confusion among Palestinian citizens.”

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