Palestinian journalists are up in arms. The Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip are arresting and torturing them, and imposing severe restrictions on their work and freedom of expression. But that is not what is upsetting them.
No, the journalists are angry because a Palestinian daily newspaper dared to publish a paid advertisement by the Israeli authorities. The journalists are now demanding that the newspaper, Al-Quds, apologize for running the advertisement by the Israeli Civil Administration in the West Bank.
Last week, dozens of angry journalists staged a protest outside the offices of the Fatah-controlled Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS) in Ramallah, where they threatened to boycott the newspaper for “promoting normalization” with Israel by publishing the advertisement.
Murad Sudani, chairman of the Palestinian Writers Union, strongly condemned Al-Quds for running the advertisement and accused its editors of “promoting the Israeli narrative and settlements.” He also accused the newspaper of encouraging normalization with Israel, pointing out that Palestinian professional unions were in agreement over the need to oppose all forms of normalization with Israel.
Nasser Abu Baker, chairman of the PJS, who also works as a correspondent for Agence France-Press (AFP), lashed out at Al-Quds for publishing the advertisement. He told the protesters that Al-Quds should not “serve the policies” of Israel.
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