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Palestinian press groups blast ban on websites linked to Abbas rivals

The Palestinian Authority blocked 12 websites affiliated with the Hamas movement and with dismissed Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan, raising questions about the government’s respect for press freedoms.
Young Palestinian entrepreneurs use their computers at Gaza Sky Geeks office, in Gaza City January 18, 2016. Picture taken January 18, 2016. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa  - RTX242SL

Palestinians were surprised to find on June 12 that they could no longer access 12 websites. The owners of the sites were quoted by multiple sources as saying that the blocks began around 5 p.m., and that when they checked with their web hosts to see what had happened, they were told that the decision to deny access had come from the attorney general’s office.

The targeted websites are affiliated with the Islamist movement Hamas and renegade former Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan. Palestine Today, Shehab News Agency, Voice of Fatah, Palestinian Information Center and Amad are some of the more well-known sites now inaccessible.

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